L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Buster Keaton a Filmmaker's Life

This is an unusual suggestion (especially a “retro” suggestion) for the holidays: Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life by James Curtis won’t be available until February. But you can pre-order it, which is what I’ve done.

Yes, there is another Keaton book (a “genre-defying work of cultural history”) coming out in January, Camera Man: Buster Keaton, the Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of the Twentieth Century by Dana Stevens, film critic at Slate and podcast co-host, in her first book. But I’m looking forward to James Curtis’ take on Keaton.  James has a long list of acclaimed biographies (W.C. Fields, Preston Sturges, Spencer Tracy, William Cameron Menzies and Mort Sahl, for example) and I’m eager to read his life of Keaton.

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Update: A previous version of this post referred to Dana Stevens’ book (“wildly uneven” according to Kirkus Reviews) as a biography. It is apparently not a biography, at least in the usual conception of the term.
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Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life publishes Feb. 15, 2022, and is available for pre-order in Los Angeles at:

Book Soup
Skylight Books
Vroman’s Bookstore

You might also check with Larry Edmunds Bookshop.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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