This famous stunt in the movie was actually built around what went wrong with the original stunt. Keaton intended to leap from one building onto the roof of another building, but he fell short, smashing into the brick wall and falling into a net off-screen. He was injured badly enough to be laid up for three days. But when he saw the film (his camera operators were instructed to always keep filming, no matter what happened), he not only kept the mishap, he built on it, adding the fall through three awnings, the loose downspout that propels him into the firehouse, and the slide down the fire pole. (The Three Ages - 1923)
On this day, 52 years ago, Frantz Fanon passed away. A psychiatrist, Pan-Africanist, writer, and revolutionary, he was born in Martinique in 1925. In 1952 he published “Black Skin, White Masks,” which exposed the negative effects of colonization on the mental state of subjugated people. As a psychiatrist in Algeria, he joined the FLN (National Liberation Front), which waged a war of independence against France. In 1961, Fanon published The Wretched of the Earth, a book on decolonization that has remained a classic and has influenced revolutionaries the world over, including Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, Che Guevara, and Steve Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness movement. Fanon died in Maryland, where he had sought treatment for leukemia, and was buried in Algeria.
Photo Credit: NYPL
Gertrude Stein sitting for Jo Davidson, photographed by Man Ray for Vanity Fair, c. 1922.