Found in: Slapstick 2017


classified PG

Slapstick 2017


Please note: This was screened in Jan 2017

Ross Lipman
Buster Keaton, James Karen, Billie Whitelaw
130 mins, 2015, UK/USA

In this fabulous feature length documentary director Ross Lipman provides a fascinating insight into what proved to be Samuel Beckett’s only onscreen work and Buster Keaton’s last silent movie.

In 1964 author Samuel Beckett set out on one of the strangest ventures in cinematic history - an 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 him receiving a Nobel Prize five years later. Keaton, in his waning years, never lived to see Beckett’s canonisation. In essence a chase film – one of the craziest ever committed to celluloid - the film they made (titled FILM), 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.

To open Bristol’s thirteenth Slapstick Festival, Ross Lipman's kino-essay examines both Beckett and Keaton through the filter of film. Both, and yet neither. FILM and NOTFILM. A story that stretches to the very birth of cinema, and spreads out to our understanding of human consciousness itself.

  • On Fri 19 Jan 17:40 at Arnolfini - Robin Ince will be presenting a full screening of a newly restored version of FILM (1965) and along with special guests, tell the story behind the it and explore why comedians are so fascinated with Beckett.

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