Sherlock Jr. (1924)
This film employs a lot of text in the beginning, in the style of a storybook, to introduce the characters. After that, we are left in the care of wild gestures amidst soaring and sometimes lilting music as the only exposition. While the music may not be original to the film, it was one of the aspects from the Lost Keaton DVD collection that struck me the most. The sad guitar music and during the action scenes, some explosive melodies kept me involved in the story. Buster Keaton’s expressiveness and every-man quality proves he was meant to be captured on film. The fantasy elements of this story are what elevate it to a great short film. Keaton, the film projectionist dreaming of being a detective, jumps into the movie he is showing as he witnesses his love and the man who framed him become the main characters in the movie. This dream sequence acts as a fulfillment of his dreams and a way for him to clear his name, while in real life, it is the realist female who rights the situation rather than the dreamer. Ultimately, this film should be recognized not for its successful cinematic breaks from reality, but as maybe the first film to act out the classic slipping-on-a-banana-peel gag of cartoon legend.