First show: November 17

Co-Sponsored by The SF Silent Film Fest & “A DAY OF SILENTS“. Dec. 1 only!

11/21 Skype Q&A with Peter Bogdanovich, moderated by SF Silent Fest’s Anita Monga!

“A relaxed study of greatness, of exquisite physical comedy, of how’d-he-do-that stuntwork, of a vigorous cinema artist who saw new and enduring possibilities for his medium”.
– L.A. Weekly

A celebration of the life and career of one of America’s most influential and joy-inducing filmmakers and comedians, Buster Keaton, whose singular style and fertile output during the silent era created his legacy as a true cinematic visionary. Filled with stunningly restored archival footage, THE GREAT BUSTER is directed by Peter Bogdanovich, a filmmaker, actor and cinema historian whose writings of note have focused John Ford and Orson Welles.

Chronicled are Keaton’s beginnings on the vaudeville circuit, as is the development of his trademark physical comedy and deadpan expression that earned him the lifelong moniker of “The Great Stone Face”, all of which led to his career-high years as the director, writer, producer and star of his own short films and features. Interspersed throughout are interviews with nearly two-dozen collaborators, filmmakers, performers and friends, including Mel Brooks, Quentin Tarantino, Werner Herzog, Dick van Dyke and Johnny Knoxville, who discuss Keaton’s influence on modern comedy and, indeed, cinema itself. The loss of artistic independence and career decline that marked his later years are also covered by Bogdanovich, before he casts a close eye on Keaton’s extraordinary output from 1923 to 1929, which yielded 10 remarkable feature films (including 1926’s THE GENERAL  (showing here 11/12!) and 1928’s STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.) that immortalized him as one of the greatest actor- filmmakers in the history of cinema.

Written & Directed by Peter Bogdanovich. With James Curtis, Cybill Shepherd, James Karen, Dick Van Dyke, Johnny Knoxville, Paul Dooley, Patty Tobias, Bob Borgen French Stewart, Richard Lewis, Bill Hader Carl Reiner,mel Brooks, Wener Herzog, Jon Watts, Nick Kroll, Quentin Tarantino, Leonard Maltin, Ben Mankiewicz, Bill Irwin & Norman Lloyd. 2018. DCP. 102 mins.

A DAY OF SILENTS, is coming to the Castro Theatre on Saturday, December 1. One glorious full day of live cinema in six programs! Beautiful images from the silent era set to superb live musical accompaniment by award-winning composer/pianist WAYNE BARKER (Peter and the Starcatcher) in his SFSFF debut, ALLOY ORCHESTRA, JON MIRSALIS, and MONT ALTO MOTION PICTURE ORCHESTRA, among others. You won’t want to miss it!