When Do-It-Yourself Doesn’t Turn Out as Planned

How many times how we felt like Buster Keaton when we’ve made something that didn’t turn out quite as we envisioned? Oh well. Buster DID build a house, albeit a cockeyed one and the process no doubt was full of useful lessons. His house ended up being a rather wonderful surrealist/modernist vision.

The cockeyed house is from One Week, one of Keaton’s first great little films: Keaton set out to construct a build-it-yourself house kit given to him and his new bride as a wedding present (Kit houses existed even in the 1920’s). Unbeknownst to the couple, the wife’s jealous former suitor changed the numbers on the boxes containing the building materials. Keaton completes the house in one week as the instructions promised, but what a house! This clip from the original is full of sweet improvisations. We especially love the makeshift outdoor kitchen.

Watch the whole 22 minute video here.

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