The Films of Buster Keaton

Join Dr. Richard J. Meyer for an in-depth exploration of the art of the great silent filmmaker/comedian Buster Keaton.

Buster Keaton

October 22 - November 12, 2019


Buster Keaton was rediscovered in the late 1950s when was he acknowledged as Chaplin's only serious rival among the masters of silent comedy.  Dr. Richard J. Meyer will screen and discuss Keaton's greatest films, demonstrating the silent comedian's unique approach to the art of motion pictures.

SIFF year-round passes and vouchers are not valid for this event.

Register for this Seattle Central College class.

Buster Keaton made 12 feature films and 19 two-reel comedies between 1920 and 1929.  His reputation was that of an extremely shy and private person and he became known as the "Great Stone Face."  He was a small, melancholy man with unsmiling eyes that gazed up a world that always dwarfed him, but could not diminish him.

Keaton never repeated himself or imitated himself.  If he played a gag more than once, it was in order to do it better or build upon it.  The creation of comedy was inborn, instinctive and exclusive.  He believed that humor was a very serious business.  The circumstances of his life were favorable to the development of his gifts.  His artistic principle was "getting a laugh without being too ridiculous."

Class Specifics:
4 Tuesdays | October 22 - November 12, 2019
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
SIFF Film Center
Cost: $79

Class Syllabus:
October 22: Early Short Films
October 29: Our Hospitality
November 5: Sherlock, Jr.
November 12: The General
Additional films may also be presented.

This Seattle Central College class is presented in cooperation with SIFF and Scarecrow Video.

About the Instructor:
Richard J. Meyer teaches film at several Universities and produces motion pictures. He co-produced Amore Tra Le Rovine (Love Among the Ruins) shot on location in Ferrara, Italy, which was released in the Unites States in 2015. In 2012 and 2013, he was Visiting Scholar at the New Zealand Film Archive. He became the Distinguished Fellow of Film and Media Studies at Arizona State University in 2007 and the Distinguished Fulbright Professor at I'Universita' del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro in Italy for the spring 2005 trimester. Dr. Meyer is Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Professor of Telecommunications Emeritus at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and Visiting Professor at the Center for Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Hong Kong. In 2001, he was a Fellow of the Asian Cultural Council in Hong Kong and a Fulbright Scholar at National Chengchi University in Taiwan. Dr. Meyer received his BA and MA Degrees from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from New York University. His post-doctoral fellowships were at Columbia University and the East-West Center in Honolulu. He has taught a variety of subjects dealing with all aspects of film and media. In addition to his cinema work, Dr. Meyer was CEO of several public broadcasting organizations including KCTS 9 in Seattle.