Slapstick Conversations: W.C.Fields with James Curtis
W.C. Fields’ career spanned the whole of the 20th Century—burlesque, vaudeville, the legitimate stage, silent pictures, talkies, radio, books, and recordings.
He made some of the great enduring comedies of all time, including It’s a Gift, My Little Chickadee, and The Bank Dick.
James Curtis – author of the definitive biography W.C. Fields – joins Slapstick live online to talk to Bristol Ideas director Andrew Kelly about the great man and his work, and show some clips from his films.
This event is part of Slapstick Festival 2022. See the full programme here. It is also part of Film 2021 which marks the centenary of the death of Bristol-born film pioneer William Friese-Greene and the 125th anniversary of the first public cinema screening in Bristol, which took place at the Tivoli on 8 June 1896, as well as celebrating Bristol – a UNESCO City of Film since 2017. It is generously funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
James Curtis is the author of James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters; Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges; William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come; Spencer Tracy: A Biography, and W. C. Fields: A Biography (winner of the 2004 Theatre Library Association Award, Special Jury Prize). His most recent work is Last Man Standing: Mort Sahl and the Birth of Modern Comedy. His new biography of Buster Keaton will be published February 2022 by Alfred A. Knopf. In addition, Curtis has edited three books on film-related subjects, including a biography of actor Walter Huston.
Andrew Kelly is Director of Bristol Ideas. He is also a film historian. His projects include We The Curious, Bristol Legible City, Brunel200, Bristol800, Bristol Film 2021 and the annual Bristol Great Reading Adventure. He is a visiting professor at the University of the West of England and has published 15 books on issues ranging from film and cinema history to Brunel and engineering, the future of cities and 100 years of Bristol aerospace.
This online event will be livestreamed on 19 January 2022 at 20:00. After that it will be available to watch until 10:00 on 26 January 2022.