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The National Gallery of Art is screening one of the classics of silent cinema this weekend, Buster Keaton’s “The General.”

The Civil War-set movie, in which Keaton plays a beleaguered train engineer trying to either get control of his locomotive or on the run from Union troops, is a masterpiece of physical comedy. Keaton and Clyde Bruckman directed.

It will be accompanied by an orchestral score by Andrew Simpson (a world premiere) and preceded by two short silent pieces, Thomas Ince’s “Drummer of the 8th” and D.W. Griffith’s “The House with Closed Shutters.” At the gallery’s East Building auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Free.

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