Commissioned by Nottingham Contemporary as part of the BFI’s Comedy Genius season, Haiku Salut’s score combines electronica, folk, post rock, and neo-classical elements to cast The General in a new dramatic light.
The General was described by Orson Welles as “the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made”, and is one of the last major films of the silent era.
The film is based on a true incident – the Great Locomotive Chase – with The General of the title referring to engineer Johnnie Gray’s (Keaton) engine. Gray has been rejected by both the Confederate Army and by his fiancee Annabelle but when Union spies steal the General (and unwittingly, Annabelle), he gets a chance to prove his heroism by catching up with The General and rescuing his beloved. In this ambitious production, Keaton performs all his own stunts using his incredible comic timing and body language to create hilarious, near perfect entertainment.
Haiku Salut perform to Cohen Media’s stunning 4K restoration of The General.
The Buster Keaton Pictureshow was created and commissioned by Nottingham Contemporary’s The Screen at Contemporary and supported by BFI Comedy Genius Season.