POSTED: Saturday, June 29, 2013 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, June 29, 2013 - 8:04am
BATON ROUGE, LA — On June 29, Baton Rouge Gallery’s ("BRG") popular and inventive summer film series presents arguably the best silent comedic film of all time, Buster Keaton’s "The General," set to a live, never-before-heard score for the film performed by funk/jazz fusion band Righteous Buddha.
The film will be shown on a towering inflatable screen on the lawn behind BRG inside BREC’s Historic City Park. As always, the screening begins at 8:00 p.m. (or sundown – whichever comes last) and the $5 price of admission (for non-members) includes free bot tomless popcorn. Admission to Movies & Music on the Lawn is always free for BRG members.
This year’s Movies & Music on the Lawn series includes five unique marriages of film and music, breathing new life into iconic silent films with some of southern Louisiana’s best contemporary musicians. Diversity is embraced this year with films ranging from the romantic to the unsettling, the romantic romances to the action-packed. The same is true of the music with styles like jazz and funk, bluegrass, indie pop and ambient chamber rock all playing a part in the year’s series.
The gallery is honored to partner with BR Motion, Whole Foods Market and John G. Turner & Jerry G. Fischer as sponsors of this year’s series. It is through their generosity that the gallery is able to continue to bring this unique event to the community again in 2013.
"The General" ( 1926) is widely considered one of the top comedies of the silent era, if not the best. It stars Buster Keaton as Johnny Gray, a man who loves his train engine, The General, almost as much as - or perhaps more so than - he loves the beautiful Annabelle Lee. His attempt to enlist in the Rebel army after the start of the Civil War fails with his unknowingly being deemed to useful as a locomotive engineer. When Northern spies steal his train and Annabelle Lee, Keaton tries everything he can think of to catch up to the train and rescue her.
Keaton’s deadpan humor and performance of all his own stunts help make every twist and turn in the film special. As it switches from drama to romance to adventure, "The General" Keaton’s comedic timing is on full display and leading Roger Ebert to once declare it "an epic of silent comedy."
Providing a live, never-before-heard soundtrack for the film will b e Baton Rouge’s own Righteous Buddha. The band, known for its high-energy fusion of funk and jazz will welcome "The General" to the 21st century with both rehearsed and improvised fare. The trio of David Hinson, John Smart and Scott Sibley, as Righteous Buddha, has been performing throughout the Baton Rouge area for over 10 years and has shared the stage with acts such as G. Love & Special Sauce, Robert Randolph and the Family Band and others.
Movies & Music on the Lawn series will continue with monthly events through September with five exciting events. After the June 29 event, the series will include "The Black Pirate" with music by The Breton Sound (Saturday, July 27), England in 1819 reimagining the score for the iconic "Nosferatu" (Friday, August 30), and Clara Bow starring as the original "it girl" in "It" with music from bluegrass darlings Polly Pry (Friday, September 27).
For more information on Baton Rouge Gallery’s Movies & Music on the Lawn series, call 225-383-1470 or visit batonrougegallery.org.