research

Film/NotFilm

Abstract

Although Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) showed a genuine interest in audio-visual media in his fascinating and innovative radio plays and television works, and in 1936 even wrote a letter to Sergei Eisenstein to be accepted to the famous Soviet film school VGIK, the 22-minute Film (1965) was his only venture into cinema. Beckett conceived the film, wrote the screenplay, supervised the production and, as one of the film’s crew members recalled and as the director Alan Schneider himself acknowledged, ‘Beckett directed the director’. Because the practice of filmmaking didn’t exactly turn out as the unexperienced Beckett had imagined, he considered the film to be a failure. The recent 4K restoration of Film by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, in cooperation with the British Film Institute, and the documentary/film essay NotFilm by UCLA restorer Ross Lipman, however, aim to bring Beckett’s Film back into the spotlight and stimulate a reappraisal of its remarkable qualities

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