Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jason goes to the Stanford Theatre to see Buster Keaton's ONE WEEK and THE GENERAL

Every other Friday for the rest of the current calendar (i.e., at least until mid-September), the Stanford is doing double features of Buster Keaton classics with the magnificent Dennis James on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

Sure, I've seen both of these many times, even multiple times on the big screen, even multiple times with live music. I know them pretty darn well. So I'm not even going to bother summarizing them. But I just couldn't pass up a chance to see Keaton on screen with Dennis James accompanying. Ummm...please ignore the fact that I turned up the chance to do just that twice already in this series. In my defense, the first time was during the SF Silent Film Festival, so I was up watching silents at the Castro. And the second time...I just flat out forgot.

Oh, I will say Dennis James always does a great job giving a little introduction to the film--interesting facts, contemporary reviews, etc. I never knew before that THE GENERAL is loosely based on a true story of Union spies who hijacked a train and went on a spree before being captured. Keaton's big change was telling it from the point of view of the South, and particularly one plucky southerner Johnnie Gray (Keaton) who despite his slight stature manages to outwit them all. Now who's up for a road-trip to Cottage Grove, Oregon to see where this was shot?

Total Running Time: 126 minutes
My Total Minutes: 246,702

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