Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 7:30pm
Noah Teichner's Navigators

361 Stagg Street, Suite 407, Brooklyn

Navigators, Noah Teichner, 2022, digital projection, 85 mins

A coincidence, as fascinating and unbelievable as any in cinema’s history: the Buford, a soon-to-be-scrapped cargo ship rented by Buster Keaton as the setting for his 1924 comedy The Navigator, was five years prior the vessel used to deport Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, and 247 other radicals during the height of the first Red Scare. These twin voyages—a slapstick tale of two patricians who find themselves accidentally adrift, and a harrowing journey of deprivation and political repression—structure Noah Teichner’s new film Navigators, which will be screening in New York for the first time this evening. The filmmaker wends his way across the stories of the Great Stone Face and “the Soviet Ark” through a rich array of sources: Keaton’s movies, Berkman and Goldman’s writings, newsreels, press accounts of the dissident roundups, and a collection of 78s that capture the music of the era as well as its reactionary sentiments (foxtrots rub up against the likes of Irving Berlin’s “Look Out for the Bolsheviki Man”). Navigators is visually organized as a two-screen diptych, a format that allows for a complex web of correspondences to emerge between text, sound, and image. Equally notable is Teichner’s manipulation of the found footage, which he analyzes frame-by-frame through a kind of forensic poetry (the result of many hours on the optical printer at L’Abominable, the artist-run film lab in Paris). Footnotes and century-old pratfalls brim, in Teichner’s hands, with a strange new emotional life; a saga of anarchism and exile is here reanimated for a present with which it increasingly seems to rhyme.

Followed by a conversation with Teichner and Yve-Alain Bois.

Tickets - Pay what you can ($10 suggested donation), available at door.

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm. No entry 10 minutes after start of show.