Sherlock Jr. Screen 4 articles

Sherlock Jr.

1924

Sherlock Jr. Poster
  • Sherlock Jr. is just such a clockwork tour de force; running about 45 minutes with no fat, it stands as perhaps its maker's most delightful creation.

  • Most movies that extol this power (Purple Rose of Cairo for example) do so by means of an inactive observer who finds their life transformed by the radiating glow of the silver screen. But by embodying both sides of this equation, and by showing the shift from passive party to fleet-footed, confident performer via dazzling physical/cinematic feats, Keaton provides an active depiction of the gulf between his dreamer/spectator and engaged hero personas.

  • The film has everything that makes Keaton a genius: the wildly inventive use of all the possibilities of film; the comedy ranging from subtle to manic slapstick; the athletic stunts, one of which could have paralyzed Keaton. Excessive description tends to kill comedy, so the Siren is leaving it at that; but trust her, this is no quaint antique.

  • Sherlock Jr.... is one of Keaton’s funniest films as well as one of his darkest: a vision of moviegoing as wish-fulfillment device, uncontrollable nightmare, and surrogate life... There may not be spatial continuity in Sherlock Jr.’s movie-within-a-movie, but there is, at least from the audience’s perspective, a degree of harmony and coherence. The borders of the frame are firmly set, the cuts perfectly timed, and Keaton’s movements, however spastic, well-synchronized.

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