Saint Buster I praise thee with two feet flying over head
You who can spin house on axis and make trains oh just barely miss oh, no wrong, smash!
You who so calmly juggles composition crew plot set actors jokes effects magic baseball game and an exploding billiard ball or two
I praise thee with screwed torso as limbs scatter and recompose with head first smack back on floor
Saint Buster I praise thee with straightline mouth
You who can move one foot then the other onto tabletop and hover there for an expanding moment before gravity sets in and pulls the rest of you down
You who can compose the most beautiful and complex works of black and white movement ever without writing a single word of script
I praise thee with porkpie hat, slapshoes and oversized trousers.
Saint Buster I praise thee with faint smile growing into uncontrollable laughter
You who can expand a single trip on a rock into an incredible chaos of rock boulder mountain nature all versus one lowly little running man
You who can run up and down all those steps in incredible crane shot and still lose your sanity and creative life to MGM
I praise thee with trapdoor and stage curtain and midwestern gale force winds.
Saint Buster I praise thee with absurdity and exageration
You who can repeat yourself twice, four times, nine times on one screen and still leave us panting groaning aching for more
You who could sandwich such silent artistry between childhood slaps and slams and alcoholic haze of early late adulthood
I praise thee at anywhere from 16 to 24 frames per second.
Saint Buster I praise thee with silly jokey pithy perfect woodcut intertitles
You who can draw the most exquisite and minute emotions from a face commonly known as stone
You who could raise your cranky shyness up out of the way long enough in your fifth sixth decades to listen, really listen to all the laughter still growing out of your falls and faces
I praise thee with comic dissolve
I praise thee with mollases in hat
I praise thee with Fatty Arbuckle, bouncing on high telephone wire
I praise thee walking into movie screen
I praise thee fade in fade out, then fade in once more for big topper laugh
I praise thee standing still and straight and small and distant and fixed and defiant in vast wilderness of nature and vaster wildness of humankind.
Copyright © 1996 John Akre
This page last updated 12 November 1997