Buster Keaton is one of cinema's great comic performers. His remarkable stunts, stoic characters, and sophisticated engagement with the film medium brought him to stardom in the silent era. From age five, Keaton performed with his parents in their vaudeville act, The Three Keatons, and was introduced to filmmaking by comic mentor 'Fatty' Arbuckle. Following 14 knockabout slapstick collaborations with Arbuckle (1917-19), Keaton moved to directing in the 1920s, combining his own performances with sophisticated and associative visual gags, with modern comedies touching on prohibition, women's suffrage and an industrialising America. His films continue to be celebrated by critics and audiences today. This select program profiles Keaton in his heyday, prior to the rise of the talkies and his disastrously constraining studio contract with MGM.
Buster Keaton curated by Rosie Hays, with film notes by Rosie Hays (RH) and Rachel O'Reilly (ROR), Australian Cinémathèque.
Live accompaniment on the Cinémathèque's 1929 Wurlizter organ by David Bailey.
List of Works
The General 1927 | Director: Buster Keaton
Steamboat Bill Jr. 1928 | Directors: Charles Reisner, Buster Keaton
Sherlock Jr. 1924 | Directors: Buster Keaton
One Week 1920 | Directors: Buster Keaton, Eddie F Cline
The Boat 1921 | Directors: Buster Keaton, Eddie F Cline
Cops 1922 | Directors: Buster Keaton, Edward F Cline
The Balloonatic 1923 | Directors: Buster Keaton, Eddie F Cline