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Audience will take center stage Thursday in Plymouth

Last modified: 4/4/2015 11:05:01 PM
Audience members will be the stars of this film.

A feature-length documentary titled Buster Keaton: To Be Funny will interview moviegoers in Plymouth and record them as they watch silent comedies.

Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton was an American actor, comedian and director. He was one of the silent film era’s great comics, known for his ingenuity with gags, acrobatic stunts and his trademark deadpan manner.

For the project, viewers will be asked if they’ve seen Keaton’s work before, if they enjoyed it and about other impressions.

The project, headed by filmmakers Jessica Roseboom, Gavin Rosenberg and Chad “CJ” Gardella of Merge Creative Media, will chronicle Keaton’s enduring popularity.

“The idea to do a documentary started out as a very personal project, then became sort of rally for preservation,” Roseboom said. “For myself, Keaton’s character in his silent films was my kind of character. . . . He didn’t have to try too hard to be funny, he just was and is. I think that deserves to be remembered.”

Audiences in New York City and Tuscon, Ariz., are among participants so far.

A crew will visit the Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in Plymouth on Thursday to continue the project. Three Ages and some of Keaton’s comedy shorts will be accompanied by musician Jeff Rapsis. The show begins at 6:30 p.m. and admission is $10.

In addition to the audience responses, the documentary will interview historians to tell Keaton’s story and those working to make sure his films are remembered, Roseboom said.


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