U.S., 1928, 71 min, 4K DCP, Dir. Buster Keaton, Not Rated, Cohen Film Collection
“The ensuing farce involves miraculous physical comedy and stuntwork. Keaton makes it look easy. The final storm sequence is a breathtaking apocalypse.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“If your faith in humanity needs a little pick-me-up, there’s no better place to start.” – Tom Huddleston, Time Out
Mississippi riverboat captain Ernest Torrence contends with rival Tom McGuire, whose daughter Marion Byron is sweet on the former’s scarcely ship-shape son, Keaton, who has to step up once a cyclone descends. Keaton refines themes including generational pride, and also finesses escalating jeopardy, including the iconic ne plus ultra of his still-astonishing collapsing-structure tableaux, achieved within a mere three-inch margin of error.
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.