The Navigator at the Barbican, 9 January

Buster Keaton in The Navigator
Buster Keaton in The Navigator

The Fashion in Film festival may have departed the Barbican for another year, but the Silent Film and Live Music series is still active. That said, there’s just one screening lined up for January, but it looks like a treat. It’s a Buster Keaton double-bill of sorts, comprising The Navigator (1924), and one of his earlier, short films, Cops (1922).

The first film concerns the misadventures of one Rollo Treadway (played by Keaton, of course) in love and on board a ship headed for Honululu. Peter Bogdanovich recently described it this way:

Sequence after sequence is superbly funny and justly celebrated; my favorite is one writer-critic James Agee used to rave about: where Buster and the girl realize each of them is not alone on the ship and proceed to try to find the other. If you’re unfortunate to only have time for one or two Keatons, this one is essential.

Cops is notable for this truly epic chase through crowded city streets. The ladder sequence in particular is gorgeous.

And if you needed another reason to spend a wintry Sunday afternoon laughing yourself silly, the marvellous Stephen Horne will be accompanying on the piano.
The Navigator screens at 4pm on Sunday 9 January. Tickets are available here.

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