The Cameraman

Starring Buster Keaton

Sat Mar 3, 2018 – 7:00 pm | BMHS

$20 online & at the door
$5 students with ID

Sponsored by:

BMO Harris Bank

BIFF’s Silent Film Showcase

The Silent Film Showcase has been a signature element of the Beloit International Film Festival since its inception. Sponsored by BMO Harris, the silent film along with live musical accompaniment, has drawn large audiences in Beloit and has been duplicated at other film festivals around the nation.

This year, BIFF is again joining forces with The Beloit Memorial High School Jazz Orchestra at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, for the screening of the historic comedy blockbuster The Cameraman, featuring Buster Keaton.

“Anybody who heard the impressive BMHS Jazz ensemble last year was very impressed,” notes Max Maiken, executive director of BIFF. “These students have brought recognition to Beloit with their outstanding performances around the country. It is a memorable experience to hear them perform the full music score, brilliantly synced to the film by director Chris Behrens. Their performance helps to create the feel one would have had in a first-run big city movie house in the 1920s.”

The Cameraman shows Buster Keaton at his peak and has been described as a “perfectly constructed comedy.” With Keaton both as co-director and star, the film was a huge success when released in 1928. In 2005 it was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

The film tells the story of a clumsy sidewalk photographer who is hopelessly in love with a woman working at MGM Studios. He trades in his tintype operation for a movie camera and sets out to impress the girl (and MGM) with his work. 

The program will be presented at Beloit Memorial High School auditorium which offers adequate seating and convenient parking.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students of all ages. “Each year it is refreshing to watch generations of viewers come together, still finding that the wit and genius of film pioneers such as Buster Keaton has not been lost over the past 90 years,” says Maiken.

The Beloit International Film Festival, celebrating its 13th season, is sponsored by the Hendricks Group in association with Beloit College and with additional support provided by Visit Beloit. Support for the Festival comes from area businesses and civic organizations, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Individual support for BIFF is provided through membership in the BIFF Founders and the Film Society of Beloit.

The Freshman


Three Movie Buffs

In 1928, MGM absorbed Buster Keaton’s neighboring studio into their much larger studio, making him an employee. The Cameraman was his first film with them. Reportedly, initial filming had some issues as Keaton had been use to directing himself as well as creating his own routines for his films. Director Edward Sedgwick supposedly relinquished some control of the film to Keaton as production went on. IMDB even lists Keaton as an uncredited director on the film.

Keaton plays a man working the streets taking tintypes of people for 10 cents a piece. A tintype is a photograph developed on the spot on a piece of metal. He meets a beautiful girl, Sally, on the street and follows her to her job, which is as a receptionist at the MGM motion picture news agency. Talk about self promotion.

Continue reading the full review

Buster Keaton & This Film

Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton
(October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966)[1] was an American actor, comedian, film director, producer, screenwriter, and stunt performer.[2] He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname “The Great Stone Face”.[3][4] Critic Roger Ebert wrote of Keaton’s “extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929, he worked without interruption on a series of films that make him, arguably, Buster Keatonthe greatest actor–director in the history of the movies”.[4] His career declined afterward with a dispiriting loss of his artistic independence when he was hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and he descended into alcoholism, ruining his family life. He recovered in the 1940s, remarried, and revived his career to a degree as an honored comic performer for the rest of his life, earning an Academy Honorary Award in 1959.

Continue reading the fuller bio on Wikipedia

Accompanying the Silent Film

Beloit Memorial Jazz Orchestra

Under the direction of Mr. Chris Behrens
National Board Certified Teacher

Chris Behrens | Beloit Memorial Jazz Orchestra

The BMJO has developed a tradition of exceptional and nationally recognized jazz music program. BMJO was first invited to the nation’s leading high school jazz band festival and competition Essentially Ellington hosted by Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York City in 2009. Hundreds of high school jazz bands from across the country submit three performances for the judges of internationally known jazz masters at the Lincoln Center for blind review. Each year only fifteen are invited to New York for the nation’s foremost high school jazz band festival and concert.

In 2012 BMJO was invited back again. And BMJO has earned an invitation back each year since. Quite a feet considering their competing with metros many of which are considerably larger than Beloit, arts magnet schools or both. The Beloit Jazz Band program is well known and recognized at the Lincoln Center in New York and among the greatest H.S. Jazz programs across the county.

One thing that doesn’t get mentioned is the fact that these students aren’t just exceptional musicians, they’re also exceptional students. It should be noted that the average GPA of the student-musicians hoping to make it to Essentially Ellington this year is 3.6.

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival