Calling All Buster Keaton Fans
Press Release: The International Buster Keaton SocietyReturns to Muskegon, MI for their 12th Annual Conventionon Fri-Sat., October 6-7, 2006.
Contacts:Ron Pesch (231) 759-7253, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Eryn Merwart, Convention Co-Chair, email email@example.com
The City of Muskegon, Michigan again welcomes the Damfinos - The International Buster Keaton Society - to town for their 12th Annual Convention, Friday, Oct. 6 through Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006.
The Convention program will include viewing of rare Keaton film and television footage, presentations by Keaton historians, a Walking Tour of the Actors’ Colony (the Keaton family’s summer home at the southern end of Lake Muskegon), and a presentation by Melissa Talmadge Cox, granddaughter of Buster and first wife Natalie. Attendees will be able to meet writers, film restorers, and historians who have contributed to the restoration and DVD production of Keaton’s films and television appearances.
The Saturday night film program, open to the public for nominal admission, will have a “detective” theme, featuring Buster’s silent films Sherlock, Jr. (1924) and The Haunted House (1921). A third film, Oh, Doctor! (1917), co-stars the comedy filmmaker who hired Buster into the movies, Roscoe Arbuckle. Films will be presented with live theatre organ accompaniment by Dennis James at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, 425 W. Western Avenue, Muskegon, MI. Tel. 1-800-585-3737, website www.frauenthal.info.
An auction of Keaton film memorabilia, a banquet, and Speakeasy costume party will also be part of the Convention activities.
The Shoreline Inn, on the northeastern shore of Lake Muskegon at Terrace Point, Muskegon, MI, will offer a special Convention rate. Tel. (866) 727-8483, website www.shorelineinn.com.
Convention registration is $125 for Friday and Saturday, or $80 for Saturday only. ($145 after Sept. 1, 2006.) More information is on the “News” page of www.busterkeaton.com, as well as on www.slapstick-comedy.com/2006/about.html, and www.busterstuff.com. Buster Keaton: Along with contemporaries Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, Keaton was one of the masters of silent comedy. Now recognized as one of the great filmmakers of all time, his silent feature, The General, released in 1927 and based on a real Civil War event, is viewed as one of the finest movies ever made. The film was one of the first 25 placed in the National Film Registry in 1989. Unlike Chaplin and Lloyd, however, Keaton remained active in the entertainment industry throughout his life, appearing regularly in film, on television, and on the stage. The child of vaudeville performers, Buster learned his craft on the vaudeville circuit, first appearing in his parents’ act at the age of five. Buster was a “crowd-pleaser”, and the family act became known as “The Three Keatons.” Born in 1895, he died in 1966.
Buster and Muskegon: Buster’s father, Joe Keaton, was one of the founding members of the Actors’ Colony, which was located on a split of land between Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan, in a section of town known as Bluffton. Populated by performers from the vaudeville circuit, the Colony offered a place for rest and relaxation for the actors during the summer months - the off-season for many. Buster spent ten summers of his youth in Muskegon before leaving the family act in pursuit of fame and fortune in New York, and ultimately, Hollywood.
The International Buster Keaton Society: The International Buster Keaton Society was founded in 1992 on October 4, Buster’s birthday, in New York City. Focused on bringing greater public attention to Keaton’s life and work, the membership includes many individuals from the television and film industry: actors, television and film producers, as well as best-selling authors, artists, comic book writers, musicians, and designers, as well as those who have just discovered the magic of Buster Keaton. See the Society’s website at www.busterkeaton.com. The American chapter, the Damfinos, draws its name from a boat in Buster’s 1921 comedy, The Boat. The British chapter, the Blinking Buzzards, draws its name from Buster’s 1920 comedy, The High Sign.