The Boat has all the resilience, pig-headedness, and strangeness of the best Keaton films. It ends perfectly; but if it were to go on one has no doubt that this extraordinary family (wife and children behave like extensions of Keaton himself) would next be found setting up some ultra-ingenious desert island shack. The survival power of the Keaton character is never seriously in question. But the element of melancholy … still bites. Keaton's humour is seldom destructive except at his own expense; and the collapse of the house at the beginning of The Boat seems to me one of the most strangely and sorrowfully and totally comic moments in cinema.
By now, the principles of Keaton films...
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