Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map
Fri, Nov 30, 2018 - Sun, Dec 2, 2018
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THE GREAT BUSTER

Born Joseph Frank Keaton, one of the 20th century’s greatest comedians earned the name “Buster” as a toddler while his parents toured the vaudeville circuit. According to legend, he had a misstep in front of Harry Houdini, taking a tumble down a flight of stairs the magician called “a real buster,” only to emerge unscathed. The name stuck, and Buster soon was part of the knockabout family act as “The Little Boy Who Can't Be Damaged.”

After World War I, Keaton moved from theater to film, initially working up gags with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle before becoming a star in his own right. Keaton came to understand that the more seriously he played a comic scene, the bigger the laughs he got; his stoic demeanor eventually resulted in another nickname, “the Great Stone Face.” In a series of silent features, the filmmaker-star became a deadpan Everyman impervious to disaster. And Keaton courted disaster regularly, whether jumping from moving train cars in THE GENERAL, standing still as a building front collapses around him in STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. or racing through streets to evade an army of would-be brides in SEVEN CHANCES.

The legendary comedian is now the subject of THE GREAT BUSTER by acclaimed director and cinema historian Peter Bogdanovich. From Keaton’s beginnings on the vaudeville circuit to his glory days as auteur and star of his own shorts and features to his loss of artistic independence at the end of the 1920s, the new documentary charts the life and career of one of America’s most influential and celebrated filmmakers. Filled with stunningly restored archival Keaton footage and interviews with nearly two dozen luminaries (including Mel Brooks, Quentin Tarantino, Werner Herzog and Dick Van Dyke), this is the definitive portrait of a true visionary of the silent era.

Several of the restorations excerpted in THE GREAT BUSTER can be seen in their entirety in our retrospective series. These groundbreaking - and still hilarious - silents have been painstakingly restored from the best existing elements in the Cohen Film Collection and such archives as the Library of Congress, the Cinémathèque Française and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Scanned at 4K, the films also have been given new scores by composers including Robert Israel, Carl Davis and Ben Model.

Series includes “Sherlock Jr.,” “Cops” and “The High Sign.”

Series compiled by Gwen Deglise, Grant Moninger and John Hagelston. Program notes by John Hagelston.

Aero TheatreFri, Nov 30, 2018 - Sun, Dec 2, 2018
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Films in this Series at the Aero

Fri, Nov 30, 2018 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sat, Dec 1, 2018 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sun, Dec 2, 2018 - 4:00pm
Aero Theatre
Sun, Dec 2, 2018 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre