Need a date, Buster?
Can two Buster Keaton silent classics find happiness with four surreal-yet-neurotic musicians this Valentine's Day?
By ROBIN EISGRAU
One of the great paradoxes about Buster Keaton is that, while he was
called the Great Stone Face, he could dramatize romantic longing better
than a thousand limpid-eyed Valentinos.
Although singer/bassist Neill
Furio flashes an angelic smile rivaling that of another of cinema's most
dangerous innocents Malcolm McDowell in "O Lucky Man," he shares
Keaton's beatific eyes. Combined with his surreal-yet-neurotic pop tunes,
they give the impression of one who, like Keaton, is forever trying to
find the middle distance.
|Includes individual films: "One Week"; "Sherlock Jr."|
Music by: Neill Furio, Brian Dewan, Will Holshauser and David Sher.
Furio, whom pop fans may know from his playing with such local luminaries
as Bubble and Lianne Smith, calls the Valentine's Day show he is putting
on at Tonic Valentitis, "as in laryngitis." The reference to silence is
apt, as the evening will include two of Keaton's greatest silents, "One
Week" (1920) and "Sherlock Jr." (1924), accompanied by a combo that
includes electric zitherist (and favorite of WFMU) Brian Dewan,
accordionist Will Holshauser, and "Wild West windman" David Sher.
"One Week," in which Keaton and his new wife attempt to assemble their
portable house, is a one-reeler that contains some of his most daring
stunts. The observations offered in "Sherlock Jr." on how cinema can
invade viewers' fantasy lives have influenced many writers and directors
since, notably Woody Allen, whose "Play It Again, Sam" and "The
Purple Rose of Cairo" both echo this classic film.|
Furio will supplement the films with a set of songs and stories with an
appropriately romantic theme, his (mostly) guileless sophistication making
him something of a cross between Linus Van Pelt and Van Dyke
Parks. However, if he has a real live security blanket, he's leaving it
home in honor of the occasion. "I'll be everyone's date," he promises.
|FEBRUARY 11, 2000|
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