Waaay back in September, I returned to the Castro Theatre with my pal for another screening of silent shorts. We made a quick weekend trip to the Bay Area in order to see our favorite fella: Buster Keaton. I was also really excited to see an early Felix the Cat film onscreen, particularly because my nine-year-old self collected anything and everything Felix. In total, we would be treated to four short films in one afternoon, plus live musical accompaniment by the Club Foot Orchestra.
It was a very warm and slightly breezy Sunday afternoon, the kind that’s easygoing and ideal for seeing a matinee. I returned to the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, where I met up with a co-worker of mine. She’d heard of Buster Keaton before, but had never seen one of his films, so like the Keaton-fan-recruiter (?) I am, I mentioned this screening to her and we decided to go.
One of my undergraduate film professors curates an on-campus educational retrospective each semester, which mainly focuses on a particular director’s oeuvre. I remember approaching him sometime in 2016 to ask if he’d be interested in doing something for BK100, and he seemed thrilled by the prospect. Once 2017 came around, I was delighted to hear that he would be organizing a retrospective for Buster during the Fall semester, and asked if I wanted to co-curate it! Naturally, I said yes.
Three Buster Keaton screenings in one month: I’m not sure if my town is being overly generous or trying to distract me from finishing up the semester strong. Either way, like a moth to a flame, merrily will I go see Buster’s lovely face projected onto a screen.
It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for gravitating towards Buster Keaton screenings, regardless of whether I’d already seen his films on the big screen before. Last month was certainly no exception as I got to attend another screening of The General (1926), only this time I had the pleasure of seeing it at the Valley Performing Arts Center—right on my very own collegiate turf.
These past few months have been long and tiresome, and it feels like it’s been forever since I sat down to watch a Keaton film. However, I did have a screening to look forward to over spring break, and it turned out to be a much-needed relief from all the stress I’ve been juggling around lately.
Recently, I returned to the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse for another “Silent Sundays” matinee, anticipating to see three silent comedians on the big screen in succession: Charley Chase in Crazy Like a Fox (1926), Buster Keaton in The Scarecrow (1920), and Harold Lloyd in Bumping Into Broadway (1919)—all of which would be accompanied by Jerry Nagano on the theater’s 1924 Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ.
Two weeks ago, I returned to the cutesy charm of Old Town Music Hall to catch a matinee of Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) along with my visiting friend. Earlier this summer, we had checked out the Sacramento locations for the film, so getting the chance to see it on the big screen together was quite the cherry-topper.
♫ “I love your funny face / Your sunny, funny face…” ♫
Last Sunday, Fred Astaire’s melodic voice was playing on a loop in my head as I returned to The Cinefamily for one last matinee of the summer. Classes would be resuming the following day for me, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see their screening of Funny Face (1957)—one of my favorite films. I don’t even care how cheesy it can be, I will always love it. The film starts off their newly-themed series, “Paris Belongs to Us”—featuring classic movie musicals that take place in the effervescent city of Paris.
I’ve gone through many interests throughout the years, and one of them revolved around The Monkees—a TV show band that consisted of Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, and Peter Tork. I’d always check to see if any reruns would be airing on television, otherwise I’d head to YouTube. I regularly listened to their music, and even saw all four members in two separate concerts between 2011 and 2012. This past Saturday, all those nostalgic sentiments resurfaced, since the Egyptian Theatre was screening The Monkees in celebration of their 50th anniversary.