Slapstick Conversations: Buster Keaton
With James Curtis
James Curtis, admired biographer of Preston Sturges, W.C.Fields and Spencer Tracy, gives us the richest, most comprehensive life story to date of the legendary actor, stunt artist, screenwriter, director and comedic master Buster Keaton, in his latest biography Buster Keaton: A Filmmakers’ Life.
Buster transformed movie-making by elevating physical comedy on film to the highest of art forms.
His silent shorts and features remain as startling, innovative, and irresistible today as they were when they first beguiled audiences almost a century ago.
In partnership with Festival of Ideas, Slapstick is proud to present a special ‘in conversation’ with James Curtis* on Zoom, live from California, hosted by Bristol Ideas director Andrew Kelly**. In collaboration with Bristol Festival of Ideas.
*James Curtis is the author of James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters; Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges; William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come; Spencer Tracy: A Biography, and W. C. Fields: A Biography (winner of the 2004 Theatre Library Association Award, Special Jury Prize). His most recent work is Last Man Standing: Mort Sahl and the Birth of Modern Comedy. His new biography of Buster Keaton will be published February 2022 by Alfred A. Knopf. In addition, Curtis has edited three books on film-related subjects, including a biography of actor Walter Huston. He lives in Brea, California.
**Andrew Kelly is Director of Bristol Ideas. He is also a film historian. His projects include We The Curious, Bristol Legible City, Brunel200, Bristol800, Bristol Film 2021 and the annual Bristol Great Reading Adventure. He is a visiting professor at the University of the West of England and has published 15 books on issues ranging from film and cinema history to Brunel and engineering, the future of cities and 100 years of Bristol aerospace.