Ben Model returns to back Champlain Valley Film Society showing

— For the third time, the Champlain Valley Film Society will present a movie without sound.

That is where Ben Model comes in.

“The Navigator,” a 1924 silent comedy directed by and starring Buster Keaton, will be shown at Willsboro Central School Saturday, Oct. 20, starting at 8 p.m.

“This is the only show that will be at the school this year because of the need for Ben’s music,” David Reuther said, president of the society, said. Admission will be $7.50 for adults and $2.50 for those under 18.

The show will harken back to the early days of theater, when the film was accompanied by a live musician providing the soundtrack. That is where Model comes in.

“Ben is one of the world's experts on silent films,” Reuther said. “For over 25 years he's been the resident pianist at the Museum of Modern Art's silent film series and he's the co-founder of the Silent Clowns film program. So this is a very special opportunity for us and for the community.”

Model has previously provided the soundtrack for a film twice in Willsboro.

“These two films drew the biggest audiences we've ever had in our 10-year history,” Reuther said. “We nearly filled all 400 seats. So, naturally, we're very excited to have Ben back again to help us show Buster Keaton's greatest film.”

According to his biography, Model has been playing piano and organ for silent films at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the past 28 years. Ben co-curates MoMA's annual "Cruel and Unusual Comedy" series and co-curated the 2006 Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle retrospective.

The show Oct. 20 will be hosted by Jennifer Moore, music teacher at Willsboro Central School.

For more information on the movie and the Champlain Valley Film Society, visit cvfilms.org.

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