This October 4th, 5th and 6th, join Keaton enthusiasts from all over the globe as they unite in Buster’s home away from home, Muskegon, Michigan, for the 25th annual Buster Keaton Convention. Spend three days experiencing rare screenings, informative and entertaining presentations on Buster’s career and private life and take a guided tour of the very streets Buster walked as a boy.

NOTE: ALL EVENTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2019


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Muskegon Convention & Visitors Bureau (Train Depot)

8:00-9:30 a.m.
Registration, Reception and Announcements


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Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 West Webster Avenue

10:00 am - 10:15 am
Welcome from the Director
with Alek Lev


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10:15 am - 11:00 am
Notes from Buster’s Cutting Room
Presented by Polly Rose

Alongside performing, directing and writing, Buster also edited his films at the Keaton Studio. In this presentation, film editor and Keaton researcher Polly Rose shares examples from her study of Buster's film editing to shed new light on how his films were made.


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11:00 am - 11:20 am
Screening: Three-Dimensional Keaton
by The Digital Arts and Entertainment Students, Howest University, Belgium
Alexandra Mores, a 3D-Animator and lecturer at the Howest Universtiy, Digital Arts and Entertainment, Belgium, and Matts Verkest, a student at that very University, put together an overview to illustrate how Buster still affects and inspires artists nowadays in their work and beyond.


11:20 am - 11:45 am: BREAK


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11:45 am - 12:15 pm
Screening: Bunny Love
Written and Directed by Pam Severns
Produced by Heather Henson

Bunny Love is a modern short silent film produced by Heather Henson, daughter of Jim Henson, and inspired by the work of Buster Keaton and classic silent comedy.


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12:15 pm - 1:00 pm
Why You Should Watch Buster Keaton With Your Kids (or Grandkids)
Presented by Jennifer Churchill

We owe it to Buster's genius and to history to ensure future generations of classic film fanatics. Jennifer Churchill shares the magic and power of film through her journey publishing "Movies Are Magic: A Kid’s History of the Moving Image From the Dawn of Time to About 1939." The book is designed to give elementary-age kids an overview of how films were invented and highlights many of the first great movies, including "The General." The book features a heartfelt introduction by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz. Jennifer will share how she worked with TCM on the book, recommendations on classic films to intrigue kids, and other resources and activities you can use to share your love of film and Buster with the next generation. Each session attendee will receive a free classic-movie flipbook!


1:00 pm - 2:45 pm: LUNCH BREAK


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2:45 pm - 3:00 pm
Screening: Chasing Buster Keaton (Part 1)
by Emon Hassen

Guitarkadia got a behind-the-scenes exclusive look at New York Guitar Festival’s popular Silent Films/Live Guitars series. Guitarists are commissioned to compose original scores for silent films and perform them live for the audience. That year the musicians scored to Buster Keaton films. Chasing Buster Keaton showcases several of the musicians’ rehearsals and glimpses into their performances.


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3:00 pm to 3:45 pm
Next Step: Space
Presented by Lisa Tatge

On occasion in his career, Buster Keaton appeared in films that referenced space exploration. Since these films were made prior to, or on the cusp of, the space race era, Lisa Tatge will take a look at how accurate these portrayals were compared to how history actually unfolded.


3:45 pm - 4:00 pm: BREAK


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4:00 pm - 4:30 pm
How Buster Keaton Conquered the Internet
Presented by Don McHaul

Just as television once did, today the internet is introducing the genius of Buster Keaton to new generations of fans. Don McHoull, creator of the Twitter account @silentmoviegifs, takes a look at how Keaton is being enjoyed by millions of people online, and how the popularity of GIF has created a medium perfectly suited to sharing the word-less brilliance of Keaton.


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4:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Screening: (Untitled)
Directed by Ryan Rettig

When film editors try to put the finishing touches on a Buster Keaton short film, they really shouldn't be suprised as Buster leaps off the screen and into their lives.


5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: DINNER BREAK


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7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Paul E. Gierucki’s Cavalcade of Stuff! (2019 Edition)
Award winning producer, director, preservationist, and film historian Paul E. Gierucki returns with another exciting presentation replete with restoration news, acquisition tales, oddities, and newly discovered rarities from the world of Keaton! Not to be missed!


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8:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Live Performance
Define: Unconditional — Adventures in "Because I said so."
Written and Performed by Keaton Talmadge
Musical Direction by Daniel Koh
Directed by Kelleia Sheerin

She's been told she has his eyes - come see Buster Keaton's Great Granddaughter Keaton Talmadge present a hilarious and touching one woman cabaret about the ups and downs of motherhood.

Q&A with Keaton Talmadge to follow


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2019


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Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 West Webster Avenue

9:00 am - 10:15 pm
Back to the Future: 25 Years of Buster Keaton conventions... and Looking Ahead to the Future.
Panel discussion moderated by Patricia Eliot Tobias

Looking back over the sometimes crazy and sometimes touching moment in 25 years of Buster Keaton conventions... and looking ahead to the future.


10:15 am to 10:30 am: BREAK


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Muskegon Points of Interest

9:30 am - 1:30 pm
Ron Pesch’s Muskegon Tour
Muskegon historian Ron Pesch will again be conducting his incredible walking tour of The Actor’s Colony at Bluffton, focusing on many of Buster’s childhood haunts! See Jingles’ Jungle, the former summer home of Joe, Myra, Louise, Jingles, and Buster Keaton, as well as that of Keaton costar Big Joe Roberts.


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Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 West Webster Avenue

10:30 am - 11:00 am
The Keaton Chronicle: Going Forward by Looking Back
Presented by David B. Pearson

The Art Director of the Damfinos’ own Keaton Chronicle, David B. Pearson, presents a a 26-year history of the publication, from its early friendly competition with rivals, to its long evolution into the magazine of the present, and where it’s going into the future.


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11:00 am - 11:30 am
Screening: The Great BK Mystery 2 — It's All About the Wall
Directed by Jack Dragga

Watch as Johnny Sprocketts once again looks into a fact about Keaton History and pokes holes into one historians theory about Buster's most famous and imitated gag from Steamboat Bill Jr.


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11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Damfino Doohickeys, Buster Bits, and Convention Concerns
Presented by the Damfinos

Walking and talking (and tripping and falling) through Society news, social media platforms, new Buster Stuff, a special deal on the 2020 convention, and some grassroots activism to get a Pop! figure on the shelves.


12:00 pm - 2:15 pm: LUNCH BREAK


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2:15 pm - 2:45 pm
Screening: Chasing Buster Keaton (Part 2)
by Emon Hassen

Guitarkadia got a behind-the-scenes exclusive look at New York Guitar Festival’s popular Silent Films/Live Guitars series. Guitarists are commissioned to compose original scores for silent films and perform them live for the audience. That year the musicians scored to Buster Keaton films. Chasing Buster Keaton showcases several of the musicians’ rehearsals and glimpses into their performances.


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2:45 pm - 3:15 pm
One Week: Keaton at Home
Presented by Dana Stevens

(Description coming soon)


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3:15 pm - 3:45 pm
The Cameraman: The Next Stage
Presented by David Macleod

In the next stage of Buster’s career, we look at the cast of Buster’s first MGM feature and the critical reception at the time.


3:45 pm - 4:15 pm: BREAK


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4:15 pm - 5:00 pm
The Celebrated Keaton Auction
Presented by David Macleod
A longstanding tradition of our convention, the auction features an amazing as- sortment of Keaton-related gems and relics. Past auctions have featured wonderful treasures, including rare photographs, original artwork, original movie posters, production documents, props, unique jewelry, hard-to-find books and magazines. Occasionally, there have even been items owned by Buster himself. Once again, there will be wonderful items in all price ranges to see, touch, and perhaps — if you are lucky (or determined) — something amazing to take home.


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm: BREAK (Preparations for banquet – Put on your finest and gussy yourselves up!)


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Frauenthal Theatre, 425 West Western Ave

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Roaring Twenties Banquet
Put on your finest vintage and formal wear for an elegant sit down dinner at our traditional gala banquet!


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8:00 pm - 9:45
Double Feature: ONE WEEK & THE CAMERAMAN
with LIVE accompaniment by DENNIS SCOTT
ONE WEEK was the first film released from the Buster Keaton Studios. In it, Buster and his new bride receive a build-it-yourself house as a wedding gift, but their week-long construction project goes from tough to absurdly impossible (or, absurd and impossible!) when a rejected suitor re-numbers all the packing crates.

THE CAMERAMAN is the last great film made by Buster Keaton during the most prolific and brilliant stage of his career. In it, BUSTER plays a tintype cameraman whose love for a newsreel office secretary sends him into a clash on the high seas, a gang war in Chinatown, and battle for her heart.


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10:00 pm - 11:30 pm
The Keaton Convention Speakeasy
Once again we celebrate fun, fellowship and another year gone by with an exclusive private party for our convention attendees featuring, fun, frolic, music and libations!


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2019


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Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 West Webster Avenue

10:00 am - 10:40 am
Screening: Chasing Buster Keaton (Part 3)
by Emon Hassen

Guitarkadia got a behind-the-scenes exclusive look at New York Guitar Festival’s popular Silent Films/Live Guitars series. Guitarists are commissioned to compose original scores for silent films and perform them live for the audience. That year the musicians scored to Buster Keaton films. Chasing Buster Keaton showcases several of the musicians’ rehearsals and glimpses into their performances.

Q&A with Emon Hassen to follow


10:40 pm - 11:00 pm: BREAK


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11:00 am - 11:30 am
Marking Joe Keaton
Presented by Jessica Wahl

In 2018, Jessica Wahl spearheaded a campaign to raise funds to purchase a headstone for Joe Keaton, Buster's father. With help from Buster Keaton and silent film fans, they raised the funds in less than 24 hours. Jessica discusses the project and her work righting other unmarked wrongs.


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11:30 am - 12:00 pm
A Preview of Coming Attractions
Thought there were no more black and white silent feature comedies? Before we pack up and bid farewell to another year in Muskegon, stay around for a sneak preview of an upcoming feature film inspired by the man we gather to honor, Buster Keaton.