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segunda-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2016

Fatty Arbuckle e Buster Keaton: quando o aluno supera o mestre

Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton: when the pupil surpasses the master


Todos os gênios do mundo tiveram um mentor, uma influência, um apoiador, alguém que abriu caminho para que ele depois brilhasse. No cinema, todos os grandes astros começaram com papéis coadjuvantes em filmes estrelados por outras pessoas, mais famosas e poderosas que os iniciantes. E é quando o mestre sente afeição e confiança no estreante que uma relação de apadrinhamento e até de amizade surge, durando tanto quanto uma vida.

All geniuses had a mentor, and influence, a supporter, someone who showed them the path to success. In the film world, all big stars started in supporting roles to more famous and powerful leads. And, when the master feels affection and something special in the newcomer, a mentorship and even friendship begins, sometimes lasting a lifetime.
Em 1917 um homem magro, de grandes olhos, cabelos pretos e um belo sorriso estreava no cinema. Ele serviria de coadjuvante para um dos maiores comediantes da época, um homem muito gordo e popular, chamado Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle. O coadjuvante se chamava Joseph Frank Keaton, ou melhor, Buster Keaton. O jovem Buster, então com 22 anos, nem tinha tanto destaque assim: uma só cena, em que ele compra melaço do vendedor Fatty. O filme é “The Butcher Boy” (1917).

In 1917 a thin, big-eyed, dark-haired man with a beautiful smile made his debut in the movies. He would be a supporting player for one of the greatest comedians of the time, a chubby and popular man named Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle. The supporting player was Joseph Frank Keaton, or better, Buster Keaton. Young Buster, then 22 years old, didn't have a lot of screen time: only one scene, in which he buys molasses from Fatty the salesman. The film is “The Butcher Boy” (1917).
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle era um simpático ator cômico dos palcos que estreou no cinema em 1909. Em 1913, contracenou pela primeira vez com a amiga e parceira Mabel Normand, e em 1914 conheceu um homem recém-chegado em Hollywood, mas que já começava a escrever e dirigir seus próprios filmes: Charles Chaplin. Entre os atores com quem Fatty trabalhava com frequência estavam Al St. John, seu sobrinho, e Minta Durfee, sua esposa desde 1908. Era um negócio bastante familiar.

Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle was a sympathetic comic actor from the theater who made his debut in the movies in 1909. In 1913, he shared the screen for the first time with his friend and partner Mabel Normand and in 1914 he met a man who had just arrived in Hollywood, but who already directed and wrote his own movies: Charles Chaplin. Among his usual screen partners were Al St. John, his nephew and Minta Durfee, his wife since 1908. Strictly family business. 
Joe Keaton (pai) e Buster (filho), como bons defensores do vaudeville, relutaram em estrear no cinema. Mas uma ajuda de Arbuckle os fez mudar de ideia: Buster pediu uma câmera de cinema emprestada para o já estabelecido astro, e Arbuckle cedeu o equipamento. Em seu quarto de hotel, Keaton desmontou a câmera e montou-a novamente, estudando a composição e o funcionamento mecânico do objeto. No dia seguinte, Keaton e Arbuckle já começaram a trabalhar juntos.

Joe Keaton (father) and Buster (son), as good vaudevillians, didn't want to star in films. But a little help from Arbuckle made them change their minds: Buster borrowed a camera from the well-known star, and Arbuckle was happy to lend it. In his hotel room, Keaton dismantled the camera and reassembled it, all this while minuciously studying the components and the mechanical part of the object. The following day, Keaton and Arbuckle started working together.
Talvez a união deles tenha sido obra do destino. Há boatos de que Keaton tinha grande ressentimento de Arbuckle, pois o gordo comediante havia copiado em um de seus filmes uma rotina que Keaton apresentava no vaudeville. Verdade ou boato, o que se sabe é que os dois se conheceram em Nova York, na sede dos estúdios Comique, que pertencia a Arbuckle. O estúdio funcionava no terceiro andar de um prédio, e nos outros dois as irmãs Talmadge, Norma e Constance, trabalhavam em seus respectivos filmes. Keaton se casaria com a menos famosa das irmãs, Natalie Talmadge, em 1921.

Maybe their partnership was fate. There are rumors that Keaton had hard feelings about Arbuckle, because he had copied in a movie a routine Buster originated in vaudeville. True or false, what we know is that they met in New York, at the headquarters of the Comique studios that belonged to Arbuckle. The studio was on the third floor of a building. On the first and second floor the Talmadge sisters shot their films. Keaton would later marry the least famous of the sisters, Natalie Talmadge, in 1921.
Ao lado de Arbuckle, os papéis de Keaton eram muito diferentes daqueles pelos quais ele ficou conhecido mais tarde. Keaton raramente fazia acrobacias ousadas, era coadjuvante e... sorridente. Em “Oh, Doctor!” (1917) seu bom-humor desperta a ira de seu pai, interpretado por Arbuckle. Em “Good Night, Nurse!” (1918) Buster é um médico que flerta desajeitadamente com um Roscoe disfarçado de enfermeira. Em “Coney Island” (1917), meu favorito dos filmes de Arbuckle e Keaton, Buster gargalha longamente em duas cenas!

With Arbuckle, Keaton's roles were much unlike the ones that made him more famous later on. Keaton rarely performed acrobatics, was a supporting character and often smile. In “Oh, Doctor” (1917), his great sense of humor is the reason for his father's anger – the father is played by Arbuckle. In “Good Night, Nurse!” (1918), Buster is a doctor who flirts with Roscoe, disguised as a nurse. In “Coney Island” (1917), my favorite of the Arbuckle-Keaton films, Buster laughs out loud in two scenes!
Em 1920, Arbuckle aceitou uma proposta incrível da Paramount: um contrato de três milhões de dólares por três anos e dezoito filmes. Ele transferiu para Keaton sua parte no estúdio Comique. A esta altura, Arbuckle já havia ensinado a Keaton todas as minúcias do trabalho de ator, diretor, roteirista, comediante e acrobata. Ainda em 1920, Douglas Fairbanks indicou Keaton para estrelar o remake de seu filme “The Lamb”, e assim Keaton protagonizou seu primeiro longa-metragem: “The Saphead”.

In 1920, Arbuckle accepted an incredible offer from Paramount: a three-million-dollar contract that covered three years and eighteen films. He gave Buster his share of the Comique studios. At this time, Arbuckle had already taught Keaton all about being an actor, director, writer, comedian and acrobat. Still in 1920, Douglas Fairbanks asked Keaton to star in the remake of his film “The Lamb”, and that's how Keaton starred in his first feature film: “The Saphead”.
1921 foi o ano fatal para a carreira de Arbuckle: ele se envolveu no escândalo da morte da aspirante a atriz Virginia Rappe, após uma festa regada a álcool. Keaton, Chaplin e Mabel Normand saíram em defesa do amigo quando ele foi injustamente acusado de estuprar Virginia e, mesmo sendo absolvido após três julgamentos, Arbuckle teve sua reputação destruída.

1921 was the fatal year for Arbuckle's career: he got involved in the scandal of the death of aspiring actress Virginia Rappe after a booze-filled party. Keaton, Chaplin and Mabel defended their friend when he was injustly accused of raping Virginia. Even though he was considered innocent after three trials, Arbuckle had his reputation destroyed.
Dos amigos, Buster foi o que mais se esforçou para ajudar Arbuckle: ele filmou um roteiro de Arbuckle, dando origem ao curta-metragem “Daydreams” (1922), e ofereceu o posto de co-diretor de “Sherlock Jr” (1924) ao amigo. Não se sabe se as cenas filmadas por Arbuckle foram usadas ou descartadas.

From the friends, Buster was the one who made the biggest effort to help Arbuckle: he filmed one of Roscoe's scripts, the short film “Daydreams” (1922) and offered Fatty the job of co-director in “Sherlock Jr” (1924). It's not known if the scenes shot by Arbuckle were used or discarded.
Arbuckle voltou aos palcos em meados dos anos 20, e também trabalhava por trás das câmeras sob o pseudônimo William Goodrich. Em 1927, ele ajudou um jovem comediante a conseguir um lugar em Hollywood. O nome desse jovem que impressionou Fatty Arbuckle era Bob Hope.

Arbuckle went back to the stage in the mid-1920s, and also worked behind the cameras under the pseudonym William Goodrich. In 1927, he helped a young comedian get a job in Hollywood. The young man who impressed Fatty Arbuckle was Bob Hope.
Buster Keaton se transformou em um dos maiores comediantes da história, até perder o controle criativo sobre seus filmes em 1928, quando foi contratado pela MGM. Arbuckle foi perdoado por Hollywood e recontratado pela Warner em 1933, mas a alegria durou pouco: Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle fez dois curta-metragens e morreu logo após assinar um contrato para um longa-metragem. Hoje é mais lembrado pelo escândalo que arruinou sua carreira, mas deveria ser reconhecido como o grande artista e aquele que ensinou ao inigualável Keaton tudo sobre o cinema.

Buster Keaton became of the greatest comedians in film history until he lost creative control over his films when he was hired by MGM in 1928. Arbuckle was pardoned by Hollywood and hired again by Warner Brothers, but his happiness didn't last long: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle did two short films and died right after he was signed to make a feature. Today he is best remembered by the scandal that ruined his career, but he should be recognized as a great artist and the one guy who taught Keaton everything about the movies.
Keaton e Arbuckle fizeram 14 filmes juntos. Treze deles (pois “A Country Hero” está perdido) podem ser vistos NESTA PLAYLIST.

Keaon and Arbuckle did 14 films together. Thirteen of them (because “A Country Hero” is lost) can be wacthed in THIS PLAYLIST.


This is my contribution to the Second Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon, hosted by Lea at Silent-ology.

4 comentários:

Silver Screenings disse...

I love Keaton and Arbuckle together on screen. They had such great timing and chemistry.

Le, this is a lovely tribute to both men. It's true that Keaton surpassed Arbuckle, but you're right in saying Arbuckle was also a genius.

Your post reminded me or this short video I found on YouTube several months ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCRlHSV-SUI

Joe Thompson disse...

Hi Lê - I enjoyed your post. Buster's career might have been very different if he had not worked with Roscoe. Buster took many lessons from Roscoe and improved on them. Nice essay.

Lea S. disse...

Thank you for contributing this thoughtful post to our blogathon, Le! The Comiques are my favorite comedies from the entire (entire!) silent era, so it's always a thrill to read other fan's thoughts about them. Roscoe was absolutely a fellow comedic genius, no doubt about that!

Lesley disse...

Good one, Le, so glad to see Arbuckle get some ink and the props he deserves for teaching Buster so much about performing in and making films. Buster was all about friends and family, and he and Roscoe were like brothers. Viola Dana talks about Arbuckle in Hollywood, Kevin Brownlow's series, and she knew both Keaton and Arbuckle well and loved them so much... Arbuckle's death was just one more catastrophic loss to Keaton in 1933, when his whole life was coming apart.

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