Starting July 1st, Creative Time will screen Steve McQueen's classic Deadpan (1997) on MTV's gilded HD screen at 44th and 45th Streets in Times Square, as part of its ongoing series, 44 1/2. Deadpan is McQueen's restaging of Buster Keaton's classic gag from his 1928 feature-length slapstick comedy, Steamboat Bill Jr., in which an entire house collapses on the unsuspecting Keaton; a strategically-placed window (sans glass, of course) provides an escape hatch that leaves Keaton unscathed.
Though over ten years old, Deadpan -- along with the entire 44 1/2 series -- will take on a distinctly new identity in Times Square, where the city's recent decision to turn a section of Broadway into a pedestrian promenade will provide a more relaxed vantage point for viewers. (The hundreds of kitchy, brightly-colored plastic chairs purchased by the city from a Park Slope hardware store prove a serendipidiously fitting -- and free! -- addition to Creative Time's project.) As for McQueen, his first feature-length film, Hunger, screened to the public earlier this year after its critically-acclaimed premiere at last year's New York Film Festival; McQueen is also currently representing Great Britain at the 53rd Venice Biennale, where his melancholy portrait of Venice, Giardini, has been lauded as a must-see by many fairgoers. Deadpan screens daily through July 31st. For more information, visit Creative Time's website.