Fascinating. The face a contradiction–a mix of innocence and vague hopelessness–and two heads, one, steel and cold, imprisons innocence in steel. The hat dresses up a mental rape. 1924. The navigator that goes nowhere. Frozen in time.
Buster Keaton, aka “The Great Stone Face,” brought side-splitting comedy to the silent-screen era. Here, he’s pictured in 1924’s The Navigator seduces us with a chance of experiencing side-splitting comedy. Irony confides a good many things. It often tells us that what we laugh about, especially here, is probably truer than truth can ever be: the industrial incarceration of innocence. A laugh, with no disrespect to Freud, is often the unconscious gasping for air under the weight of steel enclosures. some visible others invisible.