Show & Tell: The Great Buster


Just in case you’re already suffering from a slight case of Holiday Overload, I have a very quick suggestion for an antidote. And I can just about guarantee that this solution will leave you feeling much better about yourself, life itself, and the movies themselves.

The antidote is the movie The Great Buster: A Celebration, a documentary about the life and work of Buster Keaton. Almost every movie buff knows a little about Buster, The Great Stone Face, whose silent movies are such polished gems of wit, courage, and hilarity.

But it’s easy to overlook the impact the man and his movies had on the history of the movies, especially film comedies. Buster was prolific, physically daring and endlessly inventive in his gags. There’s more to him than just the gags, but they are a great place to start. I think this movie will give us a satisfying serving of both gags and perspective.

We will be discussing The Great Buster on Tuesday night (December 11) in The Music Hall Loft. And while there have been healthy advance sales, it doesn’t look like there’s any danger of getting shut out. But just to be safe, it would be prudent to grab your ducats in advance. I know I have.

We will have just one more film discussion this year, and it’s a doozy. We will be talking about A Star Is Born on December 26, which is a Wednesday. Repeat: That’s a Wednesday. Apparently, there’s something happening on December 25. I’ll have to look into that.

So be of good courage in the face of apparently bottomless holiday exploitation and commercial blackmail. Remember to pour a little wine on the ground on December 21 (the solstice) just for an insurance policy. And I hope to see you at The Music Hall soon.

(And for the relentlessly organized among you, the January discussions feature two films that are mentioned often in chatter about the Awards Season. That will be Can You Ever Forgive Me? on January 8 and Boy Erased on January 22, both of which are on our customary Tuesdays.)

See you there.

Paul Goodwin