Videos of Author Lectures
I have lectured at over fifty events and festivals across the country, and have prepared over a dozen DVD/Blu-ray bonus programs, examining the locations and history hidden in the background of classic silent films. John on IMDb
All five of my visual essays for the Criterion Collection Blu-rays are now streaming on the Criterion Channel.
An all-time hero, Leonard Maltin reviewed our Time Travelers bonus program for Criterion’s The Cameraman Blu-ray release as “breathtaking – I’ve never seen a more meaningful or resonant presentation of then and now footage.” Here’s my post about the program by filmmaker Daniel Raim.
A short segment from the Locations and Effects 2013 documentary with Academy-Award winning effects supervisor Craig Barron and the author filmed for the Criterion Collection Blu-ray release of the Safety Last!
Here is a brief intro to my 16 minute visual essay Harold Lloyd: Big Man on Campus, that looks at the college and football locations appearing the Criterion Collection Blu-ray release of The Freshman.
Silent Footsteps across Los Angeles – hosted by the Los Angeles City Historical Society
My brief “Silent Echoes” speech at the Keaton Studio plaque dedication on June 16, 2018. I first thought the link said “Plague Bengtson!” 🙂
My talk about The General at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 2011 Summer of Silents series is posted here.
My talk about The Pilgrim and Modern Times at the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society’s 2011 ChaplinFest, from within the very train station where Chaplin filmed The Pilgrim, is posted below. Further below is the site of the Modern Times finale on Google Maps.
Author Bonus Programs on DVD and Blu-ray
I have provided commentary, visual essays, and/or location tour programs to each of these Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Chris Nichols of Los Angeles Magazine 30 second review of Silent Echoes.
Below, Tokyo film critic Daisuke Beppu reviews The Cameraman, describing my new Time Travelers bonus documentary at 1:40 as “absolutely extraordinary.” Here’s the link to his full review – https://youtu.be/WZa0d3oN4bE. Thank you Daisuke.
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John Bengtson is a business lawyer and film historian whose books Silent Echoes, Silent Traces, and Silent Visions explore the early Hollywood history hidden in the background of the films of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd. John’s work has been hailed by the New York Times as a “Proustian collage of time and memory, biography and history, urban growth and artistic expression.” Each book features a foreword by Academy Award winning film historian Kevin Brownlow. Bengtson has lectured at over thirty events hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Turner Classic Movie Channel Film Festival, Cineteca di Bologna, Film Forum and The Museum of the Moving Image in New York, USC, the American Cinematheque and Cinecon Classic Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and has provided commentary and bonus programs for over a dozen Keaton, Chaplin, and Lloyd DVD/Blu-ray releases. John serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.
SFGate article John Bengtson, archeologist of early cinema.