The Scribe (Short 1966)

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The Scribe (Short 1966). 30m

“Because u0026quot;The Scribeu0026quot; is an instructional film, it doesnu0026#39;t develop a traditional plot. Keaton depicts an amateur newspaper reporter who finds a list of safety rules while snooping at a construction site. He runs amok trying to bring safety problems to the attention of construction workers, often precipitating disasters instead of preventing them. Because itu0026#39;s instructive, the pace is sometimes slow, but the film quickly establishes a pattern for delivering unexpected punch lines, thereby demanding the vieweru0026#39;s attention. And when thereu0026#39;s action, the film really moves.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThough seventy years old, Keaton darts about at a frenetic pace reminiscent of his early years, and still engages in hair-raising stunts. But while he moves as quickly as ever, Keaton performs stunts that rely on his skill and timing, not physical strength. Instead of leaping chasms and climbing flagpoles, Keaton here plummets through a floor and gets bodily hoisted by a crane. Itu0026#39;s still white-knuckle stuff, but distinctly less intense than Keatonu0026#39;s younger years.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eKeatonu0026#39;s signature gags and style emerge throughout, and they enhance the filmu0026#39;s instruction. For example, Keaton shoves a heavy tool box behind some equipment so nobody will trip over it. In a classic Keaton-style double-cross, someone instantly trips over the tool box in its new location! The gag is perfectly timed and perfectly executed, and it enhances the instructional value by candidly demonstrating that Keatonu0026#39;s careless u0026quot;safety measureu0026quot; was inadequate.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eDue to its instructional format u0026quot;The Scribeu0026quot; is unlikely to satisfy a casual viewer, but it will certainly fascinate a Buster Keaton fan. To the best of my knowledge it isnu0026#39;t available on video, though you might find it on 16mm film at a public library.”


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