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The Fun Factory: The Keystone Film Company and the Emergence of Mass Culture
by Rob King
From its founding in 1912, the short-lived Keystone Film Company—home of the frantic, bumbling Kops and Mack Sennett's Bathing Beauties—made an indelible mark on American popular culture with its high-energy comic shorts. Even as Keystone brought "lowbrow" comic traditions to the screen, the studio played a key role in reformulating those traditions for a new, cross-class ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published December 10th 2008 by University of California Press
(first published 2008)
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It rather tickles my fancy to be reading an academic treatise about Keystone, but it is interesting and well done, and quite readable (i.e. not obtuse). Makes the interesting observation that the earliest Keystone films, like Sennett's Biographs, were more "polite" situation-type comedies and that the chases and slapstick were in a way a reversion to films recent disreputable past. That is, while the industry was gentrifying and trying to appeal to a respectable audience, Keystone was going the ...more