Samuel Beckett a (not) film: screenings and encounter

In 1964 author Samuel Beckett set out on one of the strangest ventures in cinematic history: his embattled collaboration with silent era genius Buster Keaton on the production of a short, untitled avant-garde film. Beckett was nearing the peak of his fame, which would culminate in his receiving a Nobel Prize five years later. Keaton, in his waning years, never lived to see Beckett’s canonization. The film they made along with director Alan Schneider, renegade publisher Barney Rosset, and Academy Award-winning cinematographer Boris Kaufman, has been the subject of praise, condemnation, and controversy for decades. Yet the eclectic participants are just one part of a story that stretches to the very birth of cinema, and reaches out to our understanding of human consciousness itself.


15:00 NOTFILM – Ross Lipman

(US, 2015, 129′, OV (EN), st. FR)

NOTFILM is the feature-length documentary essay on FILM’s production and its philosophical implications, using additional outtakes, previously unheard audio recordings of production meetings, and other rare archive footage.

17:15 – 17:30 Break

17:30 – 18:30 Encounter between Ross Lipman and Pim Verhulst, moderated by Mathijs de Ridder

Ross Lipman is a film preservationist and independent filmmaker. He has collaborated on the restoration of films by numerous directors, such as Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles and John Cassavetes. Recently he restored Crossroads by Bruce Conner.

Pim Verhulst (1985) completed his PhD at the University of Antwerp and is specialised in the films and radio plays of Samuel Beckett.

Matthijs de Ridder (1979) reconciles literature, music and film. With Rebelse ritmes, hoe jazz en literatuur elkaar vonden (2012) he wrote a soundtrack for the political and cultural history of the twentieth century. In De eeuw van Charlie Chaplin (2017) he examined the same century from Chaplin’s (camera) perspective.

18:30 FILM – Alan Schneider

Written and conceived by Samuel Beckett

(US, 1965, 20′, without words)

FILM is a chase between camera and pursued image that finds existential dread embedded in the very apparatus of the movies itself. The link to cinema’s essence is evident in the casting, as the chased object is none other than an aged Buster Keaton, who was understandably befuddled at Beckett and director Alan Schneider’s imperative that he keep his face hidden from the camera’s gaze.

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