Mum’s the word — or perhaps granddad‘s the word — as the 14th-annual Kansas Silent Film Festival becomes a family affair at Washburn University’s White Concert Hall (17th Street and Jewell in Topeka). In addition to Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy shorts, special guest Melissa Talmadge Cox introduces her favorite of her grandfather Buster Keaton’s films, the overlooked silent masterpiece Our Hospitality, co-starring her grandmother Natalie Talmadge (plus her father and great-grandfather in small roles). The program begins at 7 p.m. Then the festival continues at 10 a.m. Saturday with a daylong slate of classic shorts and featurettes, an interview with Cox about her great-aunts Constance and Norma Talmadge, and an evening program spotlighting a restoration print of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 feature The Yankee Clipper. Admission to all screenings is free; Saturday’s reservation-only reception and buffet cost $25 a person. See for a complete screening schedule or e-mail inquiries to

Fri., Feb. 26; Sat., Feb. 27, 2010