The Great Buster

USA 2018. Dir: Peter Bogdanovich. 102 min. DCP

“Affectionate and informative ... An invitation to some of the purest, strangest laughter the screen has to offer.”
A.O. SCOTT, NEW YORK TIMES

“Wonderful ... Three cheers to Bogdanovich for perceptively bringing the brilliance of one of Hollywood's comic greats to fresh attention in this lovely and sharp-minded new documentary.”
TODD McCARTHY HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

VANCOUVER PREMIERE! Peter Bogdanovich — director of The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon; author of important studies of John Ford and Orson Welles; and, lately, one of the principals who restored and completed Welles’s unfinished The Other Side of the Wind — celebrates Buster Keaton’s life and art in this entertaining and insightful new documentary. Keaton (1895-1966) was a gifted comic performer, a master filmmaker, and an artist of strikingly modern sensibilities. Bogdanovich’s amiable film traces Keaton’s journey from vaudeville child star to leading Hollywood actor-director (and, then, tragic Hollywood figure). There are generous helpings of footage from Keaton’s great silent films; rare archival clips from his later work in TV; and tributes by Mel Brooks, Quentin Tarantino, Werner Herzog, Dick Van Dyke, and Johnny Knoxville, among others. Bogdanovich saves the best for last, circling back to explore the essence of Keaton’s genius — and, especially, the ten extraordinary features, including The General and Steamboat Bill, Jr., Keaton made between 1923 and 1929.


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The Great Buster screens in double bills with The General and Steamboat Bill, Jr., both newly restored.

 

REVIEWS

“Enthralling ... A beautiful cinematic love letter to the greatest of all silent-era comedians.”

Entertainment Weekly | full review

“A solid primer on what made Keaton not just one of the most important — and funniest — comedians in the history of the movies but also one of its most visionary directors.”

Boston Globe | full review