One of the most revered comedies of the silent era, THE GENERAL—shot in Cottage Grove—finds hapless Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Buster Keaton) facing off against Union soldiers during the American Civil War. When Johnny’s fiancée, Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), is accidentally taken away while on a train stolen by Northern forces, Gray pursues the soldiers, using various modes of transportation in comic action scenes that highlight Keaton’s boundless wit and dexterity.
This showing uses Mark Orton's original score as performed for The GENERAL's 90th anniversary in Bohemia Park in Cottage Grove, Oregon.
About the Composer Mark Orton, a Sundance Fellow and composer whose work has been included in the Oscar-nominated NEBRASKA, Ken Burns’ THE ROOSEVELTS, and the acclaimed radio program THIS AMERICAN LIFE, was commissioned to create a new score for THE GENERAL. In a nod to the great silent film scores of the past, Orton chose veteran improviser/composers Carla Kihlstedt and Todd Sickafoose to work alongside percussionist Matthias Bossi, who will provide live foley/sound effects. The full ensemble includes Mousai Remix String Quartet (Oregon Symphony), Carla Kihlstedt (Tin Hat, Tom Waits), Matthias Bossi (Rabbit Rabbit Radio) and Todd Sickafoose (Andrew Bird, Ani Difranco).