Castro Theatre Wed, May 1, 2019 7:00 PM
General - $24/Member - $22
Film Info
Director:Edward Sedgwick
Buster Keaton
Cast:Buster Keaton
Marceline Day
Harold Goodwin
Total Run Time:72 min.


Musical accompaniment by Timothy Brock conducting students of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Buster Keaton’s first film under his new lucrative contract for MGM has the Great Stone Face as a tintype photographer trying to impress studio secretary Marceline Day by upgrading to the rough-and-tumble world of freelance newsreel cameramen. With the help of the dexterous Organ-Grinder Monkey Josephine and little else, Keaton scours the streets of New York City for the footage that will earn him a big payday—but, most important, the girl’s attention. From Yankee Stadium to the middle of a Chinatown tong war, Keaton’s neophyte cameraman stumbles at every single obstacle in the most entertaining ways. Sublimely romantic, sidesplittingly funny, The Cameraman became the film that the studio required all its incoming comedians to watch before setting foot on set. It’s easy to see why, as Screenland’s reviewer wrote after the film’s 1928 premiere: “Take practically any scene and try to control your mirth.” Now in a beautiful 4K restoration!

The 2019 SFSFF Award for commitment to the preservation of silent cinema will be presented to Gian Luca Farinelli on behalf of the Cineteca di Bologna before the screening. The Italian archive has taken the lead in restoring Keaton’s entire body of work. 

 4k digital restoration undertaken by The Criterion Collection, Warner Bros. and Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna


Underwritten by McRoskey Mattress Co.

Copresented by the Exploratorium, SFFILM, SF Sketchfest

Additional Information

Musical accompaniment by Timothy Brock conducting students of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
A specialist in orchestral music from the 1920s and ’30s, conductor and composer Timothy Brock has been responsible for the restoration of several landmark silent-era scores, including Dmitri Shostakovich’s for New Babylon to George Antheil’s Ballet Mécanique. In 1998 the Chaplin estate commissioned Brock to restore the filmmaker’s score to Modern Times and he has since restored twelve Chaplin-penned silent feature and short scores. He is a prolific concert composer in his own right and has also written original scores for silent films as varied as Prix de Beauté and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. On opening night, he conducts his original 2010 score for The Cameraman played by an ensemble of students from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Over the past century, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music has become a vibrant world-class conservatory providing a well-rounded curriculum that seeks to break down barriers between the intellectual, artistic, professional, and individual, helping musicians to achieve their best possible selves. Making their San Francisco Silent Film Festival debut, an ensemble of SFCM student musicians perform on opening night under conductor Timothy Brock.