Monday, February 12, 2007

Where I'll be Saturday at 2pm

This weekend (2/17&18) the new ICA in Boston will be showing The General by Buster Keaton.

Not only will you be able to see this silent classic - in my opinion Keaton's "Stairway" – but also the outstanding Alloy Orchestra will score the film live.

I was lucky enough to see Alloy Orchestra accompany Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera at the Coolidge Corner Theater several years ago. The Alloy Orchestra is a raucous combination of classic virtuoso instrumentation and people banging on shit. The experience of watching Vertov's film about the burgeoning industrial revolution in early Communist Russia was mesmerizing. The film itself – in my opinion Vertov’s “Sgt. Pepper“ – is a visual delight that not only stars the people and places of a bygone Russia, but also the daring camera man who
will go anywhere for a great shot. Inspiring.

Add to that, watching the film with live musicians and a receptive audience takes the experience to a more visceral level. I’ve actually tried to watch the film on DVD since, but with its more authentic score it’s not the same film.

I have seen the General several times. It’s an epic film about a lowly engineer who must recapture his stolen train during the civil war. Keaton himself executes some of the most daring/hilarious stunts ever captured on film. The film could probably play with out any score, but I can’t wait to see it with fresh eyes, and ears.

If you can't make it or you want to see the film for free, although without the Alloy Orchestra accompaniment, you can check it out here at

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