According to the late Roger Ebert, “The General” was voted one of the 10 greatest films of all time in the authoritative Sight & Sound poll. This is Buster Keaton at his finest, and with live musical accompaniment of Andrew Simpson's world premiere score and the wonderful screen they have, it's a very special event. The General will be proceeded by 2 shorts (one from DW Griffith). The films are free.
From Ebert: "Buster Keaton was not the Great Stone Face so much as a man who kept his composure in the center of chaos. Other silent actors might mug to get a point across, but Keaton remained observant and collected. That's one reason his best movies have aged better than those of his rival, Charlie Chaplin. He seems like a modern visitor to the world of the silent clowns." He goes on to call it an epic and a masterpiece.
The film starts at 6:30. Occasionally, it can get pretty crowded there so it's best to meet a little early. Afterwards, around 8:15, we'll go to Teaism to discuss and socialize. Here's a description:
Buster Keaton’s masterful Civil War drama features the multi-talented Keaton
performing his own heroic stunts. With a scenario based on an actual incident
from the war (a raid led by a Union spy who infiltrated Confederate lines to
hijack a locomotive), engineer Johnny Grey (Keaton) spends the film’s first half
racing after his engine — on foot, handcar, bicycle, and even on another
locomotive — and the second half on the run from a train controlled by Union
troops. “Keaton loves his train as much as he loves his Annabelle Lee, and leaps
or creeps over every inch, from the cow catcher riding low on the tracks, to the
tender carrying the fuel” — Gary Giddins. (Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton,
1926, DCP, 78 minutes) Special thanks to Cohen Media Group. In association
with the National Gallery Orchestra.
Preceding the feature are two shorts, Thomas Ince’s Drummer of the 8th
(1913) and D.W. Griffith’s The House with Closed Shutters (1910) (Total running
time approximately 25 minutes)