Old Town Theatre kicked off the spring semester with a screening of a classic comedic “masterpiece” Tuesday evening.
“Sherlock Jr.,” a 45-minute American silent comedy, was the first offering of the New Year in a series of films that are free to the public for viewing.
Ranked #62 in the American Film Institute’s funniest films of all time and listed as one of TIME’s top 100 movies of all time, “Sherlock Jr.” stars Buster Keaton as a film projectionist fantasizing about being a detective after a rival framed him for stealing a pocket watch.
Keaton also directed the 1924 film, in addition to performing his own signature acrobatic stunts.
Sam Houston State University’s College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and SHSU’s Department of Mass Communication have partnered with Old Town Theatre to present a film history program for the Huntsville community since 2015.
Each month the theater screens a classic film, and a discussion follows, led by Dr. Grant Wiedenfeld, assistant professor of mass communication, who curates the series.
“We are showing old movies that people might not otherwise see and talking about them in a way they might not normally do in a theater,” Wiedenfeld said.
The discussions delve into why the films were made, what they meant for cinema and history, and how each film shaped the industry’s future.
“We’re watching older movies, which are designed for a different audience that lived in [an earlier time],” Dr. Wiedenfeld said. “Having some discussion and presentation at the beginning can help us cross that bridge and imagine ourselves in the past.”
Upcoming installments in this film series are 1952’s “Singin’ in the Rain,” starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, on March 2 and 1978’s “Superman” on April 24.