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This October 5 and 6th, join Keaton enthusiasts from all over the globe as they unite in Buster’s home away from home, Muskegon, Michigan, to celebrate the centennial of one the greatest and most original entertainers the world has ever known! Spend two 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.


8:00-9:00 a.m.
Muskegon Convention & Visitors Bureau (Train Depot) 610 W. Western Avenue Registration, Reception and Announcements

9:30 am - Noon
Muskegon Museum of Art 296 West Webster Avenue

9:30 am - 10:00 am
“Buster Goes To Hollywood”
Alek Lev provides a recap of the momentous weekend in Los Angeles, including footage from the studio plaque dedication, speakers, tours and the many amazing events that culminated in Buster Keaton Day, June 16 2018.

10:05 am - 10:30 am
“Natalie and Her Sisters”
Gabriella Oldham, author of Keaton’s Silent Shorts: Beyond The Laughter focuses on the Talmadge sisters, Natalie, Constance and Norma.  As box-office superstars and fashion icons of the 1920s, Norma Talmadge was queen of drama, Constance Talmadge was delightful comedienne…and then there was Natalie. Long misunderstood and overshadowed by her sisters, Natalie’s most prominent role in show business was as Mrs. Buster Keaton. But who really was Natalie? How did she respond to the allure as well as the pressures of being a Talmadge and a Keaton? Illustrated with rarely seen photos and anecdotes, this portrait will reveal new dimensions of Natalie in her own right, as daughter, sister, actress, wife, mother, and grandmother.

10:35 am - 11:15 am
Selected Short Subjects – A few surprises from Buster's career!

11:15 am – 11:30 am - Break

11:35 am - 12:00 noon
Buster Keaton – Home
Ron Pesch and Jim Schaub present a sneak preview of their upcoming documentary telling this rich, fascinating story of Buster Keaton as a child vaudeville star, as a teen tumbling down the sand dunes at Lake Michigan and as a brave young man venturing off to New York City, where he would soon become a star in the new medium of motion pictures.

Noon - 2:00 pm
Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Walking Tour of Bluffton Actors’ Colony
1875 Waterworks Rd, Muskegon, MI 49441-1054
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.

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: Muskegon Museum of Art 296 West Webster Avenue

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm
The Buster Keaton Research Papers: The Three Ages (1923)
This year, David Macleod reaches back to cover Buster's first feature film in his series of in-depth looks at Buster's independent features. There'll be a look at the always interesting cast of characters in the film and a look at its critical reception at the time.
2:45 pm - 3:30 pm
“Buster Keaton and the Trick of the Light”
David B. Pearson presents some examples of Keaton’s film magic. Some tricks very well known and other illusions few have thought about.
3:30 pm - 3:45 pm  

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm  
A special exclusive taped interview with film historian, author and documentarian and Honorary Academy Award winner Kevin Brownlow in which he discusses his work and his connection with Buster and Eleanor.
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.  
Dinner (on your own)

8:00 pm - 10:30 PM  
Location: Muskegon Museum of Art 296 West Webster Avenue

8:00 pm - 9:00 PM
Paul E. Gierucki’s Cavalcade of Stuff
Award winning director, preservationist, and film historian Paul E. Gierucki returns with another exciting presentation of restoration news, acquisition tales, and newly discovered Keaton rarities!  Not to be missed!

9:00 pm - 10:30 PM
Gerald Potterton and David de Volpi
Gerald Potterton, writer-director of Buster’s iconic National Film Board of Canada classic The Railrodder, and David de Volpi, acclaimed cinematographer and cameraman on Buster Keaton Rides Again, join us onstage to discuss their experience working with Buster. The evening includes a Q&A and a “live and in-person” commentary as we screen The Railrodder. Moderated by Chris Seguin.


9:00 am -11:00 a.m.
Location: Muskegon Museum of Art 296 West Webster Avenue

9:00 am - 9:30 am
Cartoon Keaton
A screening of rare cartoons in which Buster appears

9:45 am - 10:15 am
“Comedy’s Stateless Man”
Once Buster departed MGM, he immediately assumed the peripatetic ways of his vaudeville youth and sought out work wherever it could be found. Chris Seguin discusses the 30-year journey that took Buster from Hollywood to France, Italy, Spain, Canada and seemingly all points in-between. 

10:15 am – 10:30 am  

10:30 - 11:00 a.m.  
“Growing Up On Stage”
An informative presentation on Buster's childhood days in Vaudeville, focusing on his place among the venerable and crazy tradition of child actors and vaudeville performers at the turn of the century.  Enlightening, informative and very entertaining, we're delighted to welcome Dana Stevens to our Damfino family for this special presentation.

11:00 am - 11:45 am
“A Versatile Comedienne: Anne Cornwall”
Joanna E. Rapf, Visiting Professor of Film & Media Studies, Dartmouth College, focuses on Buster’s leading lady from College

Noon-2 p.m. 
Lunch on your own   

2:00 pm -3:30 p.m.
Location: Muskegon Museum of Art 296 West Webster Avenue


2:00 pm - 2:45 p.m.
Talk by Damfino Lisa Tatge

2:45 - 3:15p.m.  
“Buster Keaton’s Worst Silent Short: Six Viewpoints”
A round table discussion featuring several knowledgable and opinionated Keaton fans and scholars discussing the Keaton films they like least. Fireworks should ensue. 

3:45 – 4:30 pm
The Celebrated Keaton Auction
A longstanding tradition of our convention!  Hosted by auctioneer David MacLeod, the auction features an amazing assortment of goods. Past years have featured original artwork, rare posters, documents and publications, and even items owned by Buster himself! 

4:30 pm
Preparations for banquet – Put on your finest and gussy yourselves up!

6:00 pm – midnight
Location: Frauenthal Gallery
Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts 425 W. Western Avenue

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
Buster On The Big Screen!!
The Great Buster with The Love Nest
The International Buster Keaton Society is honored to present a special screening of a brand new documentary on the life, career and art of Buster Keaton.  THE GREAT BUSTER celebrates the life and career of one of America’s most influential and celebrated filmmakers and comedians, Buster Keaton, whose singular style and fertile output during the silent era created his legacy as a true cinematic visionary. Filled with stunningly restored archival Keaton films from the Cohen Film Classics library, THE GREAT BUSTER is directed by Peter Bogdanovich, a filmmaker and cinema historian whose landmark writings and films on such renowned directors as John Ford and Orson Welles have become the standard by which all other studies are measured. Also screening will be Keaton’s last starring short silent film romp on the high seas, The Love Nest. Made 95 years ago, this short is a blistering funny knockabout comedy with some of the most energetic and wild slapstick ever captured on film! The Love Nest will be accompanied by internationally known silent film organist, Dennis Scott, on the Mighty Frauenthal Barton Theater Organ! Enjoy this new documentary and this classic film as they were meant to be seen, on the big screen in a gloriously restored movie palace!   

Roaring Twenties Speakeasy
(Immediately following screening)
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!

(Please Note: All presenters are confirmed at this time, but are subject to change due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts that may arise. Additional presenters are being added all the time.)