Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Last-minute switcheroo: This weekend, it's Buster Keaton, not Harold Lloyd, in New York City

A lobby card for Buster Keaton's feature 'The Cameraman' (1928).

Apologies in advance for changing the schedule of silent film screenings at the Town Hall Theatre in Wilton, N.H.

This Sunday, April 20, we'll screen Buster Keaton's 'The Cameraman' (1928) at 2 p.m. as part of our ongoing 'Silent New York' series.

The Keaton comedy will be shown in place of Harold Lloyd's comedy 'Speedy' (1928), which we had to postpone until later in the series. The new date for the Lloyd film will be Sunday, May 28 at 2 p.m.

This switch comes on the heels of having to reschedule a Marion Davies feature, 'The Lights of Old Broadway' (1925), earlier this month due to my ever-changing schedule.

Apologies to those who ventured to the Town Hall Theatre on Sunday, April 16, only to find the film scheduled for a week later. (We had changed the date two months earlier, and even updated the fliers, but some people still had the old fliers.)

We did run 'Lights' on Sunday, April 23, with the film getting an extremely positive reaction. It's the first time I've accompanied this title; it's another Marion Davies film that seems to have solid staying power.

This weekend, it's Buster's turn in the spotlight as our series of silent films set the Big Apple continues. See you Sunday, April 30 for 'The Cameraman' (1928)!

*    *    *

Buster Keaton stars in 'The Cameraman' (1928).

For more info, contact: Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 •

Buster Keaton in 'The Cameraman' as Town Hall Theatre continues Big Apple salute

Classic silent comedy to screen Sunday, April 30 with live music; latest in series of vintage movies set in New York City

WILTON, N.H.—He never smiled on camera, earning him the nickname of "the Great Stone Face." But Buster Keaton's comedies rocked Hollywood's silent era with laughter throughout the 1920s.

See for yourself with a screening of 'The Cameraman' (1928) one of Keaton's landmark feature films, on Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton, N.H.

Admission is free; a donation of $10 per person at each screening is suggested to help defray expenses.

The family-friendly screening is the latest in the Town Hall Theatre's series of vintage silent feature films all set in the Big Apple.

The film will be shown with live music by silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis.

'The Cameraman' tells the story of a young man (Keaton) who tries to impress the girl of his dreams (Marceline Day) by working as a freelance newsreel cameraman.

His efforts fail spectacularly, but then a lucky break gives him an unexpected chance to make his mark. Can Buster parlay the scoop of the year into a secure job and successful romance?

'The Cameraman' will be preceded by 'Sherlock Jr.' (1924), in which Buster plays a small-town movie projectionist who dreams of working as a detective.

But then Buster's romantic rival frames him for stealing a watch from his girlfriend's father.

Fortunately, the situation mirrors the plot of the movie currently playing at Buster's theater. Inspired by the film, can Buster find the real thief and win back his girl?

Both films focus on exploring the potentials of the motion picture, then a brand-new medium.

In 'The Cameraman,' Keaton uses the movie business itself to create comedy that plays with the nature of film and reality.

"These films are audience favorites, and people continue to be surprised at how engrossing and exhilarating they can be when shown as they were intended: in a theater, and with live music," said accompanist Jeff Rapsis, who performs at more than 100 screenings each year at venues around the nation and abroad.

Rapsis, who lives in Bedford, N.H., improvises live scores for silent films using a digital synthesizer to recreate the texture of the full orchestra.

"It's kind of a high wire act," Rapsis said. "But for me, the energy of live performance is an essential part of the silent film experience."

'The Cameraman' was originally scheduled to be shown at the Town Hall Theatre on Sunday, May 21, but was moved to Sunday, April 30 due to a scheduling conflict.

Upcoming films in the series include:

• Sunday, May 14, 2023 at 2 p.m.: 'The Docks of New York' (1928). Set in late 19th century New York, roughneck stoker Bill Roberts gets into unexpected trouble during a brief shore leave when he falls hard for Mae, a wise and weary dance-hall girl. Intense and moving silent drama from legendary director Josef von Sternberg.

• Sunday, May 28, 2023 at 2 p.m.: 'Speedy' (1928) starring Harold Lloyd. Lloyd's final silent feature finds him at the peak of his career playing a baseball-crazed go-getter forced to rescue the business of his girlfriend's father from being destroyed by thugs. Filled with great scenes of 1920s NYC, with notable cameo by baseball's Babe Ruth. ('Speedy' was originally scheduled for Sunday, April 30 but was moved to Sunday, May 28 due to a scheduling conflict.)

'The Cameraman' (1928), preceded by 'Sherlock Jr.' (1924), will be screened on Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton, N.H.

Admission is free; a donation of $10 per person is suggested to help defray expenses. For more information, call (603) 654-3456.

No comments:

Post a Comment