Buster Keaton in his short The GoatEXPAND
Buster Keaton in his short The Goat
Wikimedia Commons

Your Weekly Movie To-Do List: Celebrating Buster Keaton

Friday, June 15

The Hollywood Heritage Museum sits on the site of the old Lasky-DeMille Barn — one of Hollywood's original film studios. Friday night it will house a full program of festivities swirling around silent comedian Buster Keaton. Two of Buster's funniest short subjects, Neighbors and The Goat, will be presented on 16mm, with Cliff Retallick supplying live piano. As a chaser, there will be a selection of vintage Keaton TV commercials, as well as presentations by actor Paul Dooley, author John Bengtson and International Buster Keaton Society officers Patricia Eliot Tobias and Alek Lev. For $40, you get a seat to all of this, plus light dinner and dessert. The gala marks the beginning of "Buster Keaton Weekend" in Los Angeles, a citywide celebration of this once-underrated, now justly revered clown prince. Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Fri., June 15, 7 p.m.; $40. (323) 874-4005; keatonweekend.com.

Saturday, June 16

Buster Keaton Weekend continues Saturday night with a 35mm screening of The Cameraman, the star's first film for MGM and his last great silent feature. Buster plays a street photographer who buys a film camera and attempts to break into the industry to impress a secretary. Like much of Keaton's best work, the film delivers a steady stream of laughs while deconstructing the nature of the medium. A panel discussion featuring Leonard Maltin, Patricia Eliot Tobias, and Jeremy Guskin, moderated by Alek Lev, will follow. Due to high demand, a second screening has been added. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., June 16, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.

Modern TimesEXPAND
Modern Times
Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, June 19

LACMA continues its monthlong tribute to Charles Chaplin with a screening of Modern Times, the writer-producer-director-composer-star's mostly silent 1936 satire which sets his Little Tramp persona against an inhumanly mechanized society. An early highlight includes a scene in which the little guy tests an automatic feeding machine, but there are memorable bits sprinkled throughout, most of them brilliantly funny. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., June 19, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.

Wednesday, June 20

The Orpheum Theatre in downtown L.A. boards the celebratory Keaton bandwagon with a screening of Steamboat Bill, Jr., Buster's late silent feature about a shy college grad's struggle to win the affection of his father, a salty riverboat captain. This one includes one of Keaton's most perfectly realized gags, in which the entire façade of a house falls directly on top of him, leaving his body unscathed via an opening in the attic window. Keaton Talmadge (Keaton's great-granddaughter) will take the stage to introduce the film, which will feature live musical accompaniment by Mark Herman on the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. Stay in your seat for a bonus Q&A about the Orpheum immediately following. Orpheum Theatre, 523 W. Sixth St., Downtown; Wed., June 20, 8 p.m.; $22. (213) 623-2489, laconservancy.org.

Thursday, June 21

Paper Moon — one of the best con-artist movies ever and a high point in the career of director Peter Bogdanovich — plays at the Aero in a crisp DCP. Alvin Sargent adapted the screenplay from a novel by Joe David Brown, and aside from flawless Depression-era production design, the film features a famous father-daughter pairing. Ryan O'Neal plays the huckster door-to-door Bible salesman, and 10-year-old Tatum O'Neal became the youngest person to win a competitive Oscar for playing his young protégé. Tatum O'Neal will appear afterward to discuss her work on the film. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Thu., June 21, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. 

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: