A couple of superb books published in HK focus on HK legal research. They are, however, either dated, hard to find in libraries outside HK, or both see 3. To complement the above-mentioned research tools, we present version 4. It focuses mostly on English-language information and free—but reliable—websites. Primary law sources are the binding rules of law in a jurisdiction.
Because HK has a common law legal system, its primary law sources include legislation i. In addition, Chinese customary law under certain circumstances, such as land inheritance matters and international law treaty and customary are recognized as primary law sources. But neither will be discussed in this brief guide. It is also available online , but requires a subscription. The most important piece of HK legislation is the Basic Law , which was drafted in the late s and promulgated in before becoming effective on July 1, All other laws must accord with the Basic Law see Art. Importantly, Chinese as well as English may be used officially by the executive, legislative, and judicial authorities see Art.
No other jurisdiction in the world allows for the use of Chinese as a legal language to develop the common law. The Basic Law does not specify which dialect Chinese has many or character system Chinese has two. Cantonese is widely spoken as are traditional characters widely used in HK. Mandarin or Putonghua is widely spoken as are simplified characters widely used in mainland China. His successor, Carrie Lam , gave hers last year mostly in Mandarin. It enacts principal laws called ordinances signed by the Chief Executive and published weekly in the bilingual Government of the HKSAR Gazette the Gazette has a main volume and seven other volumes, called Supplements.
The Supplements are important legal sources. Ordinances are published in Supplement 1. Sometimes LegCo delegates its lawmaking power to the executive authority, resulting in subsidiary laws variously called by-laws, orders, regulations, and rules that flesh out principal laws. Subsidiary laws are published in Supplement 2 of the Gazette.
The Gazette has published as Supplements all HK legislation since Laws, however, change over time. The changed versions of laws can be found in the Laws of HK. Starting in , editions were published only in English roughly once a decade until Although not updated since , it remains the main source for all laws not yet included in the new Laws of HK below.
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The current official bilingual compilation of HK legislation is also called Laws of HK and available in print and online. This process will take several years to complete. For the text of of the most important and frequently cited ordinances along with analysis, commentary, and history, see Annotated Ordinances of HK. In addition to the Gazette, it has three other major government publications: Administrative Reports, Hansard, and Sessional Papers.
Caselaw is law developed by judges in legal proceedings. Interestingly, judges and other judiciary members need not be from HK. They may be from other common law jurisdictions see Basic Law, Art. Recent calls, however, to curtail or end this practice have been getting louder. There are two types of HK court decisions, opinions, or judgments: unreported and reported. Unreported judgments are similar to US Supreme Court slip opinions. All judgments are initially unreported.
If deemed important enough, then they may be reported or published later in a set of law reports.
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Be careful not to equate unreported judgments with unimportant judgments. Just as with US court judgments, many months may pass before new judgments are reported. Reported judgments have important points of law, whether new, expansions of previous ones, or both. After a judgment is reported, all references to it must be to this version instead of the unreported version.
Hong Kong caselaw is readily available online, freely and commercially. It is fully searchable, bilingual, and updated frequently. And LexisNexis and Westlaw in the US have caselaw as well as lots of other information, though subscriptions are required. See also LexisNexis HK for more product details. Perhaps less readily available to legal researchers outside HK is caselaw in print. General law reporters have judgments from courts at various levels e.
Specialist law reporters focus on a particular court or area. Some have either merged with general law reporters or been discontinued. A citation to an unauthorized or unofficial law reporter will suffice if a decision has not been published in an authorized law reporter. Please note: on January 1, , HK courts began issuing and requiring practitioners to use official neutral citations for all new HK judgments. For details, see Practice Direction 5. It uses 84 subject headings similar to Halsbury's Laws of HK see 3.
Secondary law sources are merely persuasive and not binding in a jurisdiction. Because HK has a common law legal system, its secondary law sources include everything except legislation including the Basic Law , caselaw, Chinese customary law under certain circumstances , and international law treaty and customary. As mentioned above, all of these sources are primary and binding. Perhaps the most helpful and widely used secondary law source is expert commentary. It can be found in many places, particularly books, scholarly journals, and mass media.
Below are descriptions and links to such sources as well as related organizations educational, informational, professional, etc. The HK government and other groups run clinics that provide legal services to residents unable to afford private counsel:. The HK High Court see 2. Other noteworthy publishers include:.
No uniform system of legal citation exists for HK. There are a number of bilingual legal dictionaries and glossaries available in print and online. For a related print tool, see Doctoral Dissertations on HK Each entry has a brief description of the area of law annotated extensively with statute and caselaw citations. Government reports often detail problems and recommend fixes.
There are six libraries in HK with notable law collections: three academic, one court, one legislative, and one public. They each have websites describing their collections and policies:. With this rough understanding of the mechanics of the moving pictures, he returned the next day, camera in hand, asking for work.
He was hired as a co-star and gag man, making his first appearance in The Butcher Boy. Keaton later claimed that he was soon Arbuckle's second director and his entire gag department. He appeared in a total of 14 Arbuckle shorts, running into They were popular, and contrary to Keaton's later reputation as "The Great Stone Face", he often smiled and even laughed in them.
Keaton and Arbuckle became close friends, and Keaton was one of few people, along with Charlie Chaplin , to defend Arbuckle's character during accusations that he was responsible for the death of actress Virginia Rappe. Arbuckle was eventually acquitted, with an apology from the jury for the ordeal he had undergone.
In , The Saphead was released, in which Keaton had his first starring role in a full-length feature. It was based on a successful play, The New Henrietta , which had already been filmed once, under the title The Lamb , with Douglas Fairbanks playing the lead. Fairbanks recommended Keaton to take the role for the remake five years later, since the film was to have a comic slant. Keaton then moved to full-length features. Keaton's writers included Clyde Bruckman , Joseph Mitchell, and Jean Havez , but the most ingenious gags were generally conceived by Keaton himself.
Comedy director Leo McCarey , recalling the freewheeling days of making slapstick comedies, said, "All of us tried to steal each other's gagmen. But we had no luck with Keaton, because he thought up his best gags himself and we couldn't steal him! During the railroad water-tank scene in Sherlock Jr. A scene from Steamboat Bill, Jr. Then, the facade of a two-story building toppled forward on top of Keaton. Keaton's character emerged unscathed, due to a single open window.
The stunt required precision, because the prop house weighed two tons, and the window only offered a few inches of clearance around Keaton's body. The sequence furnished one of the most memorable images of his career. Aside from Steamboat Bill, Jr.
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The General , set during the American Civil War , combined physical comedy with Keaton's love of trains, including an epic locomotive chase. Employing picturesque locations, the film's storyline reenacted an actual wartime incident. Though it would come to be regarded as Keaton's greatest achievement, the film received mixed reviews at the time. It was too dramatic for some filmgoers expecting a lightweight comedy, and reviewers questioned Keaton's judgment in making a comedic film about the Civil War, even while noting it had a "few laughs.
It was an expensive misfire, and Keaton was never entrusted with total control over his films again. His distributor, United Artists , insisted on a production manager who monitored expenses and interfered with certain story elements. Keaton endured this treatment for two more feature films, and then exchanged his independent setup for employment at Hollywood's biggest studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer MGM.
Keaton's loss of independence as a filmmaker coincided with the coming of sound films although he was interested in making the transition and mounting personal problems, and his career in the early sound era was hurt as a result. Keaton signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in , a business decision that he would later call the worst of his life.
He realized too late that the studio system MGM represented would severely limit his creative input. For instance, the studio refused his request to make his early project, Spite Marriage , as a sound film and after the studio converted, he was obliged to adhere to dialogue-laden scripts. Keaton was forced to use a stunt double during some of the more dangerous scenes, something he had never done in his heyday, as MGM wanted badly to protect its investment.
Some of his most financially successful films for the studio were during this period. No Beer? The films proved popular. In the first Keaton pictures with sound, he and his fellow actors would shoot each scene three times: one in English, one in Spanish, and one in either French or German. The actors would phonetically memorize the foreign-language scripts a few lines at a time and shoot immediately after.
Keaton was so demoralized during the production of 's What! Upon Keaton's return to Hollywood, he made a screen comeback in a series of 16 two-reel comedies for Educational Pictures. Most of these are simple visual comedies, with many of the gags supplied by Keaton himself, often recycling ideas from his family vaudeville act and his earlier films. He also provided material for Red Skelton  and gave help and advice to Lucille Ball in her comedic work in films and television. In , Columbia Pictures hired Keaton to star in ten two-reel comedies, running for two years.
The director was usually Jules White , whose emphasis on slapstick and farce made most of these films resemble White's famous Three Stooges shorts. Keaton's personal favorite was the series' debut entry, Pest from the West , a shorter, tighter remake of Keaton's little-viewed feature The Invader ; it was directed not by White but by Del Lord , a veteran director for Mack Sennett. Moviegoers and exhibitors welcomed Keaton's Columbia comedies, proving that the comedian had not lost his appeal. However, taken as a whole, Keaton's Columbia shorts rank as the worst comedies he made, an assessment he concurred with in his autobiography.
Keaton's personal life had stabilized with his marriage, and now he was taking life a little easier, abandoning Columbia for the less strenuous field of feature films. Throughout the s, Keaton played character roles in both "A" and "B" features. He made his last starring feature El Moderno Barba Azul in Mexico; the film was a low budget production, and it may not have been seen in the United States until its release on VHS in the s, under the title Boom in the Moon.
Critics rediscovered Keaton in and producers occasionally hired him for bigger "prestige" pictures. Keaton invented comedy bits where Johnson keeps trying to apologize to a seething Garland, but winds up messing up her hairdo and tearing her dress. Jimmy assists Spencer Tracy 's character, Captain C. Culpepper, by readying Culpepper's ultimately-unused boat for his abortive escape.
The restored version of that film, released in , contains a restored scene where Jimmy and Culpeper talk on the telephone. Lost after the comedy epic's " roadshow " exhibition, the audio of that scene was discovered, and combined with still pictures to recreate the scene. The appearance, since it was released after his death, was his posthumous swansong. Keaton also appeared in a comedy routine about two inept stage musicians in Charlie Chaplin 's Limelight , recalling the vaudeville of The Playhouse. With the exception of Seeing Stars , a minor publicity film produced in , Limelight was the only time in which the two would ever appear together on film.
Kinescopes were made for distribution of the programs to other parts of the country since there was no transcontinental coaxial cable until September Life with Buster Keaton was less well received as an attempt to recreate the first series on film, allowing the program to be broadcast nationwide. He also appeared in the early television series Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town.
The theatrical feature film The Misadventures of Buster Keaton was fashioned from the series. Keaton said that he canceled the filmed series himself because he was unable to create enough fresh material to produce a new show each week. He also appeared on Ed Wynn's variety show. At age 55, he successfully recreated one of the stunts of his youth in which he propped one foot onto a table, then swung the second foot up next to it and held the awkward position in midair for a moment before crashing to the stage floor. He opened his jacket and he was all bruised. So that's how he did it—it hurt —but you had to care enough not to care.
Also in , Keaton and his wife Eleanor met film programmer Raymond Rohauer with whom they developed a business partnership to re-release his films. Actor James Mason bought the Keatons' house and found numerous cans of films, among which was Keaton's long-lost classic The Boat. Much of the film was shot on location on the Sacramento River , which doubled for the Mississippi River setting of Twain's book.
He worked with comedian Ernie Kovacs on a television pilot tentatively titled "Medicine Man," shooting scenes for it on January 12, —the day before Kovacs died in a car crash. Keaton also found steady work as an actor in TV commercials, including a series of silent ads for Simon Pure Beer made in by Jim Mohr in Buffalo, New York in which he revisited some of the gags from his silent film days.
Director William Asher recalled:. I always loved Buster Keaton. He'd say, "How about this? He travelled from one end of Canada to the other on a motorized handcar, wearing his traditional pork pie hat and performing gags similar to those in films that he made 50 years before.
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The film is also notable for being his last silent screen performance. He amazed the cast and crew by doing many of his own stunts, although Thames Television said that his increasingly ill health did force the use of a stunt double for some scenes. His final appearance on film was a safety film produced in Toronto by the Construction Safety Associations of Ontario, and he died shortly after completing it. Keaton started experimenting with parody during his vaudeville years, where most frequently his performances involved impressions and burlesques of other performers' acts.
Most of these parodies targeted acts with which Keaton had shared the bill. Keaton parodied the tired formula of the melodramatic transformation from bad guy to good guy, through which went Hart's character, known as "the good badman". However, Hart himself was not amused by Keaton's antics, particularly the crying scene, and did not speak to Buster for two years after he had seen the film. In The Playhouse , he parodied his contemporary Thomas H. Ince , Hart's producer, who indulged in over-crediting himself in his film productions.
The short also featured the impression of a performing monkey which was likely derived from a co-biller's act called Peter the Great. Griffith 's Intolerance , from which it replicates the three inter-cut shorts structure. Film critic David Thomson later described Keaton's style of comedy: "Buster plainly is a man inclined towards a belief in nothing but mathematics and absurdity Look at his face—as beautiful but as inhuman as a butterfly—and you see that utter failure to identify sentiment.
His large, deep eyes are the most eloquent feature; with merely a stare, he can convey a wide range of emotions, from longing to mistrust, from puzzlement to sorrow. The traditional Buster stance requires that he remain upstanding, full of backbone, looking ahead It is the angle that you remember: the figure perfectly straight but tilted forward, like the Spirit of Ecstasy on the hood of a Rolls-Royce Rerun it on video, and you can see Buster riding the collapse like a surfer, hanging onto the steering wheel, coming beautifully to rest as the wave of wreckage breaks.
Buster Keaton's comedy endures not just because he had a face that belongs on Mount Rushmore, at once hauntingly immovable and classically American, but because that face was attached to one of the most gifted actors and directors who ever graced the screen.
Evolved from the knockabout upbringing of the vaudeville stage, Keaton's comedy is a whirlwind of hilarious, technically precise, adroitly executed, and surprising gags, very often set against a backdrop of visually stunning set pieces and locations—all this masked behind his unflinching, stoic veneer.
Keaton has inspired full academic study. She co-starred with him in Our Hospitality. The couple had sons Joseph, called Buster Jr. June 2, — February 14, ,  and Robert February 3, — July 19, ,  both of whom later took the surname Talmadge. After the birth of Robert, the relationship began to suffer. Her financial extravagance was another factor in the breakdown of the marriage, as she would spend up to a third of his salary on clothes.
Keaton dated actress Dorothy Sebastian beginning in the s and Kathleen Key  in the early s. After attempts at reconciliation, Talmadge divorced him in , taking his entire fortune and refusing to allow any contact between him and his sons, whose last name she changed to Talmadge. With the failure of his marriage and the loss of his independence as a film-maker, Keaton lapsed into a period of alcoholism.
He escaped a straitjacket with tricks learned from Harry Houdini. In , he married his nurse Mae Scriven during an alcoholic binge about which he afterwards claimed to remember nothing. Scriven claimed that she didn't know Keaton's real first name until after the marriage. She filed for divorce in after finding Keaton with Leah Clampitt Sewell, the libertine wife of millionaire Barton Sewell. They divorced in at great financial cost to Keaton. She has been credited with saving his life by stopping his heavy drinking and helping to salvage his career. Between and , they appeared regularly in the Cirque Medrano in Paris as a double act.
She came to know his routines so well that she often participated in them on TV revivals. Keaton died of lung cancer on February 1, , aged 70, in Woodland Hills, California. Confined to a hospital during his final days, Keaton was restless and paced the room endlessly, desiring to return home. In a British television documentary about his career, his widow Eleanor told producers of Thames Television that Keaton was up out of bed and moving around, and even played cards with friends who came to visit the day before he died. Dedicated to bringing greater public attention to Keaton's life and work, the membership includes many individuals from the television and film industry: actors, producers, authors, artists, graphic novelists, musicians, and designers, as well as those who simply admire the magic of Buster Keaton.
The Society's nickname, the "Damfinos," draws its name from a boat in Buster's comedy, "The Boat. Film critic Roger Ebert stated, "The greatest of the silent clowns is Buster Keaton, not only because of what he did, but because of how he did it. Harold Lloyd made us laugh as much, Charlie Chaplin moved us more deeply, but no one had more courage than Buster.
In his presentation for The General , filmmaker Orson Welles hailed Buster Keaton as "the greatest of all the clowns in the history of the cinema Filmmaker Mel Brooks has credited Buster Keaton as a major influence, saying: "I owe Buster a lot on two levels: One for being such a great teacher for me as a filmmaker myself, and the other just as a human being watching this gifted person doing these amazing things. He made me believe in make-believe. Actor and stunt performer Johnny Knoxville cites Keaton as an inspiration when coming up with ideas for Jackass projects. He re-enacted a famous Keaton stunt for the finale of Jackass Number 2.
Comedian Richard Lewis stated that Keaton was his prime inspiration, and spoke of having a close friendship with Keaton's widow Eleanor. Lewis was particularly moved by the fact that Eleanor said his eyes looked like Keaton's. On June 16, , the International Buster Keaton Society laid a four foot plaque in honor of both Keaton and Charles Chaplin on the corner of the shared block Lillian Ave where each had made many of their silent comedies in Hollywood. In filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich released The Great Buster , a documentary about Keaton's life, career, and legacy.
Keaton designed and modified his own pork pie hats during his career. In , he told an interviewer that in making "this particular pork pie", he "started with a good Stetson and cut it down", stiffening the brim with sugar water. Keaton said he was lucky if he used only six hats in making a film. Keaton estimated that he and his wife Eleanor made thousands of the hats during his career.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Buster Keaton. Piqua, Kansas , U. Natalie Talmadge m. Mae Scriven m. Eleanor Norris m.