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T500FC, 412th: The Electric House (Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton, 1922)

March.26.2011

The concept of this film was often copied by certain animated shorts that came out decades ago. If I remember it correctly, it might be one of those Looney Tunes or those Avery cartoons, and probably a little bit of the Disney shorts on the side, where it features a house. With electricity being the in thing before, this film was created to sort of predict on what could have been possible in the future. Hence the film went to a slightly accurate point that makes this film a voyeurism of some sort.

As much as I would want to expound on this film’s synopsis, I’d rather leave it to you, as the viewer since this is one of Keaton’s short films. But basically, this short film shows people inside a futuristic house, where everything is automatic; from the escalator type of stairs and an automatic dining table. And since this is a Keaton film, you might be able to predict the ending.

I was mildly fascinated with this short film. It looks like a bit of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. And it was quite good actually since it featured, probably, never before seen scenes during its time and era; where electricity is probably the in thing, and imaginations are running high on where this technology is getting us into.

Sad thing though is that the film has been copied by animated shorts, ergo, as much as I didn’t want it to happen, I somehow expected a low but funny ending. I mean we all see Charlie Chaplin or even the Three Stooges do this, might as well expect it from Keaton as provided by the premise of this piece of art.

The second of my short Keaton marathon, it was a fun watch. The direction of the film is not as clear as the first one. I guess a little bit of editing on the side would make this film a little clearer though it is actually clear enough since I knew where the story goes. And you wouldn’t really mind if it steals a small percentage of your time.

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