U.S., 1924, 68 min, 4K DCP, Dir. Buster Keaton, Not Rated, Cohen Film Collection
"Keaton’s appreciation of the formal paradoxes of the medium is outstanding; his observations on the relationship between film and the subconscious are groundbreaking and profound. And it’s a laugh riot too.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
“As purely American a film genius as the movies have produced.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
Keaton’s tribute to detective fiction also pioneered taking films about movie love to a higher plane. Mild-mannered film projectionist Keaton shakes off mix-ups with girlfriend Kathryn McGuire and her father Joe Keaton (Buster’s own dad) by dreaming himself into onscreen action as the titular suave sleuth, with those in his orbit also transferred into the narrative. The ingenuity of the gags beautifully enhances the reliability of the “what if I could” fantasy motif.
One of the greatest filmmakers that ever lived, “The Great Stone Face” has been an incalculable influence on the art of comedy ever since he first strolled onscreen in 1917. A genius at conceiving and executing gags ranging from trompe l’oeil surrealism to eruptive chaos, he assimilated the mechanics of movie-making and jump-started them. Prolific even by the standards of the silents era, he would act, write, direct, produce, and edit, having survived the risky stunts that he had brainstormed for himself. Timed to the debut of Peter Bogdanovich’s new documentary The Great Buster, we present premieres of 4K digital restorations of a selection of Keaton classics from the 20s, his golden era. Rediscover or delight for the first time in Keaton’s physical feats and breathtaking comedic stunts that make today’s digital spectacles and stuntwork pale by comparison.