ONLINE EVENT - BUSTER KEATON - CLASSIC COMEDY SHORTS - Live-Stream with Live Piano Accompaniment by Ben Model! - Featuring a live conversation with James Curtis, author of “Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life”

No Longer Available

This program is streaming live only once on March 15th at 7:00 PM Eastern Time. Admission is non-refundable/non-exchangeable.


Buster Keaton - Classic Comedy Shorts

One Week, Cops, and The Electric House

Featuring a live conversation with James Curtis, author of “Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life”

With Live Piano Accompaniment by Ben Model

Live Streaming on Tuesday, March 15th at 7:00 PM Eastern Time!

General Admission is Pay-What-You-Want! – Click "Buy Tickets" above for price options

Join us for a very special live-streamed online event featuring three of legendary comedian Buster Keaton’s funniest and most beloved shorts, with an introduction and post-screening conversation with James Curtis, author of the acclaimed new biography “Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life.” It was James Agee who christened Buster Keaton “The Great Stone Face.” Keaton’s face, Agee wrote, "ranked almost with Lincoln’s as an early American archetype; it was haunting, handsome, almost beautiful, yet it was also irreducibly funny. Keaton was the only major comedian who kept sentiment almost entirely out of his work and . . . he brought pure physical comedy to its greatest heights.” Before the release of his world-famous features like Our Hospitality, Sherlock, Jr. and The General, Buster Keaton mastered his skills as an actor and director of comedy shorts. First appearing alongside Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, producer and studio executive Joseph M. Schenck later gave Buster his own production unit where he created a series of two-reel comedies that cemented his place as a pioneer of silent cinema.

The films:

One Week (1920, 19 min.) Buster and his new bride Sybil receive a portable house (Easy to assemble! Construction takes only one week!) as a wedding gift. Things get complicated when Buster's rival - who is vying for Sybil's affections - swaps the numbers on the crates containing the house parts. The result is pure comic genius… and a house unlike any you’ve ever seen!

Cops (1922, 18 min.) Keaton delivers hilarious sight gags and unbelievable stunts in this Kafkaesque short film about an innocent man whose efforts to impress his girlfriend result in him being hotly pursued by hundreds of police officers.

The Electric House (1922, 20 min.) A century before our current craze for “smart homes,” Keaton created this hysterical and prophetic comedy. A mix-up during a university graduation ceremony sees Buster being accidentally taken for an electrical engineer. He begins work in the dean’s villa to automate various home appliances, but these inventions soon turn wildly against their creator.

The book:

From acclaimed cultural and film historian James Curtis—a major biography, the first in more than two decades, of the brilliant comedian and filmmaker who elevated physical comedy to the highest of arts and whose ingenious films remain as startling, innovative, modern—and irresistible—today as they were when they beguiled audiences almost a century ago. James Curtis is the author of 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), among others. He lives in Brea, California.

"It is brilliant—I was totally absorbed, couldn't stop reading it and was very sorry when it ended."—Kevin Brownlow

You can order a copy Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life, signed by author James Curtis, from our friends at Theodore's Book in Oyster Bay. Click here to order your book.

Tickets are limit one (1) per order. Advance registration may be made any time prior to the start of the event. Ticket-holders may enter the live stream by returning to this page and signing in to their Cinema Arts online account to bring up the “Enter Live Stream” link.

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Thank you for your support of the Cinema Arts Centre at this time. If you need assistance with any step of your ticket purchase, please reach out to and a customer service representative will be in touch.

Ben Model is one of America’s leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silent films at the New York MoMA since 1984 and the CAC since 2006. Since March 16th, 2020, Ben has been hosting a weekly live-streamed silent film show from his living room, “The Silent Comedy Watch Party.” Click here to visit Ben's YouTube page!