Buster Keaton's "The General" A Silent Film With Live Music
Coming to The Carnegie’s Otto M. Budig Theatre on Thursday, May 2 at 7:30pm, renowned New England silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis provides a live modern underscoring to Buster Keaton’s 1926 classic “The General.” Showcasing the storytelling and comic mastery of the man whom Roger Ebert called “arguably, the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies,” “The General” features Keaton as a lovelorn train engineer trying to foil a devious hijacking plot during the Civil War. The evening includes a post-show meet-n-greet with the accompanist in the Ohio National Financial Services Gallery.
Jeff Rapsis’ Original Score
In accompanying silent films, Jeff Rapsis’ technique is to make use of the full range of film scoring vocabulary to help bring the silent movie to life for contemporary audiences. Rapsis improvises his scores in real time, often drawing from original ideas or material he's created earlier in previewing a film.
"It's kind of a high-wire act, but a score that's at least partly improvised lends a freshness and spontaneity to a screening that's not present when everything's prepared in advance," Rapsis says. "If I'm buried in sheet music, it's hard to respond to the emotional line of a film in real time as it unfolds on the screen. I think it is all part of what makes silent film a unique art unto itself."
One of the Greatest American Movies Of All Time
Directed by, and starring, Buster Keaton, “The General” follows Western & Atlantic train engineer, Johnnie Gray (Buster Keaton) at the start of the Civil War. When plans to hijack his train by Union soldiers are revealed, Keaton embarks on a journey to not only save “The General,” but to save and win back his true love, Annabelle Lee. While “The General” was not initially well received by critics when it premiered in 1926, the American Film Institute places “The General“ 18th on its list of the 100 greatest movies of all time.
Where: Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center
Address: 1028 Scott Blvd.