Ross Lipman - NOTFILM
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, titleless 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 spreads out to our understanding of human consciousness itself.
NOTFILM is the feature-length movie on FILM’s production and its philosophical implications, utilizing additional outtakes, never before heard audio recordings of the production meetings, and other rare archival elements.
The Street Scene: A Lost Scene Reconstruction from the Film Outtakes (6 mins)
“What if E’s eyes were closed?” Audio Recordings of Beckett, Kaufman and Schneider (7 mins, with English captioning)
Buster Keaton and Film: James Karen in Conversation (42 mins)
Memories of Samuel Beckett: An Afternoon with James Knowlson (8 mins)
Jean Schneider: Memories of Alan Schneider (11 mins)
Jeannette Seaver: Beckett and “Godot” (4 mins)
Photographing Film: Photographing Beckett: Steve Schapiro and I.C. Rapoport in conversation (7 mins) and Photo Gallery
The Music of NOTFILM: The Soundtrack by Mihály Víg on CD
“Completely fascinating! … A thoughtful, incisive meditation on its decades-old events, Notfilm is gossipy and philosophical by turn, joining microscopic analysis of the filmmakers’ lofty intentions with juicy morsels of information about exactly what happened when theory met practice on the steamy summer streets of New York City where Film was shot…For moviegoers who care about film not just as a title, Notfilm can be unreservedly recommended.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
Closed captioning in English, subtitles in French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese