Slapsticon, the international film festival of classic slapstick, starts today in Arlington Virginia. This annual, four-day film festival — scheduled in July of every year — features screenings of rarely seen comedies from the silent and early sound eras. It is an opportunity to view films that are some of the earliest creative efforts in the development of motion picture comedy. Stars like Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy are featured along with less well-remembered but highly influential performers as Harry Langdon, Snub Pollard, and Larry Semon. Check out the program listing and clips. And if you can’t make it to Arlington this year, you can check out my favorite book on slapstick, Comedy Is a Man in Trouble: Slapstick in American Movies by one of my favorite critics, Alan Dale.