The Stone: (The Rediscovered Law)

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Several times I'd have been killed if I hadn't been able to land like a cat. Imitators of our act don't last long, because they can't stand the treatment. Keaton claimed he was having so much fun that he would sometimes begin laughing as his father threw him across the stage. Noticing that this drew fewer laughs from the audience, he adopted his famous deadpan expression whenever he was working. The act ran up against laws banning child performers in vaudeville. According to one biographer, Keaton was made to go to school while performing in New York, but only attended for part of one day.

Despite tangles with the law and a disastrous tour of music halls in the United Kingdom, Keaton was a rising star in the theater. Keaton stated that he learned to read and write late, and was taught by his mother. By the time he was 21, his father's alcoholism threatened the reputation of the family act, [15] so Keaton and his mother, Myra, left for New York, where Buster Keaton's career swiftly moved from vaudeville to film. His unit remained intact and was not broken up to provide replacements, as happened to some other late-arriving divisions.

During his time in uniform, he suffered an ear infection that permanently impaired his hearing. Joe Keaton disapproved of films, and Buster also had reservations about the medium. During his first meeting with Arbuckle, he asked to borrow one of the cameras to get a feel for how it worked. He took the camera back to his hotel room and dismantled and reassembled it. With this rough understanding of the mechanics of the moving pictures, he returned the next day, camera in hand, asking for work.

He was hired as a co-star and gag man, making his first appearance in The Butcher Boy.


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Keaton later claimed that he was soon Arbuckle's second director and his entire gag department. He appeared in a total of 14 Arbuckle shorts, running into They were popular, and contrary to Keaton's later reputation as "The Great Stone Face", he often smiled and even laughed in them. Keaton and Arbuckle became close friends, and Keaton was one of few people, along with Charlie Chaplin , to defend Arbuckle's character during accusations that he was responsible for the death of actress Virginia Rappe. Arbuckle was eventually acquitted, with an apology from the jury for the ordeal he had undergone.

In , The Saphead was released, in which Keaton had his first starring role in a full-length feature. It was based on a successful play, The New Henrietta , which had already been filmed once, under the title The Lamb , with Douglas Fairbanks playing the lead. Fairbanks recommended Keaton to take the role for the remake five years later, since the film was to have a comic slant. Keaton then moved to full-length features.

Mesopotamia to the end of the Old Babylonian period

Keaton's writers included Clyde Bruckman , Joseph Mitchell, and Jean Havez , but the most ingenious gags were generally conceived by Keaton himself. Comedy director Leo McCarey , recalling the freewheeling days of making slapstick comedies, said, "All of us tried to steal each other's gagmen. But we had no luck with Keaton, because he thought up his best gags himself and we couldn't steal him! During the railroad water-tank scene in Sherlock Jr.

A scene from Steamboat Bill, Jr. Then, the facade of a two-story building toppled forward on top of Keaton. Keaton's character emerged unscathed, due to a single open window. The stunt required precision, because the prop house weighed two tons, and the window only offered a few inches of clearance around Keaton's body. The sequence furnished one of the most memorable images of his career. Aside from Steamboat Bill, Jr. The General , set during the American Civil War , combined physical comedy with Keaton's love of trains, including an epic locomotive chase.

Employing picturesque locations, the film's storyline reenacted an actual wartime incident. Though it would come to be regarded as Keaton's greatest achievement, the film received mixed reviews at the time. It was too dramatic for some filmgoers expecting a lightweight comedy, and reviewers questioned Keaton's judgment in making a comedic film about the Civil War, even while noting it had a "few laughs. It was an expensive misfire, and Keaton was never entrusted with total control over his films again.

His distributor, United Artists , insisted on a production manager who monitored expenses and interfered with certain story elements. Keaton endured this treatment for two more feature films, and then exchanged his independent setup for employment at Hollywood's biggest studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer MGM. Keaton's loss of independence as a filmmaker coincided with the coming of sound films although he was interested in making the transition and mounting personal problems, and his career in the early sound era was hurt as a result. Keaton signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in , a business decision that he would later call the worst of his life.

He realized too late that the studio system MGM represented would severely limit his creative input. For instance, the studio refused his request to make his early project, Spite Marriage , as a sound film and after the studio converted, he was obliged to adhere to dialogue-laden scripts. Keaton was forced to use a stunt double during some of the more dangerous scenes, something he had never done in his heyday, as MGM wanted badly to protect its investment. Some of his most financially successful films for the studio were during this period. No Beer? The films proved popular.

In the first Keaton pictures with sound, he and his fellow actors would shoot each scene three times: one in English, one in Spanish, and one in either French or German. The actors would phonetically memorize the foreign-language scripts a few lines at a time and shoot immediately after. Keaton was so demoralized during the production of 's What!

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Upon Keaton's return to Hollywood, he made a screen comeback in a series of 16 two-reel comedies for Educational Pictures. Most of these are simple visual comedies, with many of the gags supplied by Keaton himself, often recycling ideas from his family vaudeville act and his earlier films. He also provided material for Red Skelton [27] and gave help and advice to Lucille Ball in her comedic work in films and television. In , Columbia Pictures hired Keaton to star in ten two-reel comedies, running for two years.

The director was usually Jules White , whose emphasis on slapstick and farce made most of these films resemble White's famous Three Stooges shorts. Keaton's personal favorite was the series' debut entry, Pest from the West , a shorter, tighter remake of Keaton's little-viewed feature The Invader ; it was directed not by White but by Del Lord , a veteran director for Mack Sennett. Moviegoers and exhibitors welcomed Keaton's Columbia comedies, proving that the comedian had not lost his appeal.

However, taken as a whole, Keaton's Columbia shorts rank as the worst comedies he made, an assessment he concurred with in his autobiography. Keaton's personal life had stabilized with his marriage, and now he was taking life a little easier, abandoning Columbia for the less strenuous field of feature films. Throughout the s, Keaton played character roles in both "A" and "B" features. He made his last starring feature El Moderno Barba Azul in Mexico; the film was a low budget production, and it may not have been seen in the United States until its release on VHS in the s, under the title Boom in the Moon.

Buster Keaton - Wikipedia

Critics rediscovered Keaton in and producers occasionally hired him for bigger "prestige" pictures. Keaton invented comedy bits where Johnson keeps trying to apologize to a seething Garland, but winds up messing up her hairdo and tearing her dress. Jimmy assists Spencer Tracy 's character, Captain C. Culpepper, by readying Culpepper's ultimately-unused boat for his abortive escape. The restored version of that film, released in , contains a restored scene where Jimmy and Culpeper talk on the telephone. Lost after the comedy epic's " roadshow " exhibition, the audio of that scene was discovered, and combined with still pictures to recreate the scene.

The appearance, since it was released after his death, was his posthumous swansong. Keaton also appeared in a comedy routine about two inept stage musicians in Charlie Chaplin 's Limelight , recalling the vaudeville of The Playhouse. With the exception of Seeing Stars , a minor publicity film produced in , Limelight was the only time in which the two would ever appear together on film. Kinescopes were made for distribution of the programs to other parts of the country since there was no transcontinental coaxial cable until September Life with Buster Keaton was less well received as an attempt to recreate the first series on film, allowing the program to be broadcast nationwide.

He also appeared in the early television series Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town. The theatrical feature film The Misadventures of Buster Keaton was fashioned from the series. Keaton said that he canceled the filmed series himself because he was unable to create enough fresh material to produce a new show each week. He also appeared on Ed Wynn's variety show. At age 55, he successfully recreated one of the stunts of his youth in which he propped one foot onto a table, then swung the second foot up next to it and held the awkward position in midair for a moment before crashing to the stage floor.

He opened his jacket and he was all bruised.


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  4. So that's how he did it—it hurt —but you had to care enough not to care. Also in , Keaton and his wife Eleanor met film programmer Raymond Rohauer with whom they developed a business partnership to re-release his films. Actor James Mason bought the Keatons' house and found numerous cans of films, among which was Keaton's long-lost classic The Boat.

    Much of the film was shot on location on the Sacramento River , which doubled for the Mississippi River setting of Twain's book. He worked with comedian Ernie Kovacs on a television pilot tentatively titled "Medicine Man," shooting scenes for it on January 12, —the day before Kovacs died in a car crash. Keaton also found steady work as an actor in TV commercials, including a series of silent ads for Simon Pure Beer made in by Jim Mohr in Buffalo, New York in which he revisited some of the gags from his silent film days.

    Director William Asher recalled:. I always loved Buster Keaton. He'd say, "How about this? He travelled from one end of Canada to the other on a motorized handcar, wearing his traditional pork pie hat and performing gags similar to those in films that he made 50 years before. The film is also notable for being his last silent screen performance.

    The current official bilingual compilation of HK legislation is also called Laws of HK and available in print and online. This process will take several years to complete. For the text of of the most important and frequently cited ordinances along with analysis, commentary, and history, see Annotated Ordinances of HK. In addition to the Gazette, it has three other major government publications: Administrative Reports, Hansard, and Sessional Papers.

    Caselaw is law developed by judges in legal proceedings. Interestingly, judges and other judiciary members need not be from HK. They may be from other common law jurisdictions see Basic Law, Art. Recent calls, however, to curtail or end this practice have been getting louder. There are two types of HK court decisions, opinions, or judgments: unreported and reported. Unreported judgments are similar to US Supreme Court slip opinions. All judgments are initially unreported. If deemed important enough, then they may be reported or published later in a set of law reports.

    Be careful not to equate unreported judgments with unimportant judgments. Just as with US court judgments, many months may pass before new judgments are reported. Reported judgments have important points of law, whether new, expansions of previous ones, or both. After a judgment is reported, all references to it must be to this version instead of the unreported version.

    Hong Kong caselaw is readily available online, freely and commercially. It is fully searchable, bilingual, and updated frequently. And LexisNexis and Westlaw in the US have caselaw as well as lots of other information, though subscriptions are required. See also LexisNexis HK for more product details. Perhaps less readily available to legal researchers outside HK is caselaw in print.

    General law reporters have judgments from courts at various levels e. Specialist law reporters focus on a particular court or area. Some have either merged with general law reporters or been discontinued. A citation to an unauthorized or unofficial law reporter will suffice if a decision has not been published in an authorized law reporter.

    Please note: on January 1, , HK courts began issuing and requiring practitioners to use official neutral citations for all new HK judgments. For details, see Practice Direction 5. It uses 84 subject headings similar to Halsbury's Laws of HK see 3. Secondary law sources are merely persuasive and not binding in a jurisdiction.

    The Stone: (The Rediscovered Law)

    Because HK has a common law legal system, its secondary law sources include everything except legislation including the Basic Law , caselaw, Chinese customary law under certain circumstances , and international law treaty and customary. As mentioned above, all of these sources are primary and binding. Perhaps the most helpful and widely used secondary law source is expert commentary.


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    It can be found in many places, particularly books, scholarly journals, and mass media. Below are descriptions and links to such sources as well as related organizations educational, informational, professional, etc. The HK government and other groups run clinics that provide legal services to residents unable to afford private counsel:. The HK High Court see 2.

    Other noteworthy publishers include:. No uniform system of legal citation exists for HK. There are a number of bilingual legal dictionaries and glossaries available in print and online. For a related print tool, see Doctoral Dissertations on HK Each entry has a brief description of the area of law annotated extensively with statute and caselaw citations.

    Government reports often detail problems and recommend fixes. There are six libraries in HK with notable law collections: three academic, one court, one legislative, and one public. They each have websites describing their collections and policies:. Newspapers are great places to get context when researching legal issues. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group bought it in , worrying some journalists. The upstart Hong Kong Free Press is an independent non-profit run by local journalists and financially backed by readers worldwide.

    The availability of raw materials is a historical factor of great importance, as is the dependence on those materials that had to be imported. In Mesopotamia, agricultural products and those from stock breeding, fisheries, date palm cultivation, and reed industries—in short, grain, vegetables, meat, leather, wool, horn, fish , dates, and reed and plant-fibre products—were available in plenty and could easily be produced in excess of home requirements to be exported.

    On the other hand, wood, stone, and metal were rare or even entirely absent. The date palm—virtually the national tree of Iraq—yields a wood suitable only for rough beams and not for finer work. Metal can only be obtained in the mountains, and the same is true of precious and semiprecious stones.

    Consequently, southern Mesopotamia in particular was destined to be a land of trade from the start. The raw material that epitomizes Mesopotamian civilization is clay : in the almost exclusively mud-brick architecture and in the number and variety of clay figurines and pottery artifacts , Mesopotamia bears the stamp of clay as does no other civilization, and nowhere in the world but in Mesopotamia and the regions over which its influence was diffused was clay used as the vehicle for writing. Such phrases as cuneiform civilization, cuneiform literature, and cuneiform law can apply only where people had had the idea of using soft clay not only for bricks and jars and for the jar stoppers on which a seal could be impressed as a mark of ownership but also as the vehicle for impressed signs to which established meanings were assigned—an intellectual achievement that amounted to nothing less than the invention of writing.

    History of Mesopotamia historical region, Asia. Written By: Wolfram Th. Frye Dietz O. See Article History. Read More on This Topic.