1965, 21 minutes, B&W

Directed by Alan Schneider
Produced by Barney Rosset

O: Buster Keaton
Nell Harrison: Passerby
James Karen: Passerby

Beckett's own cinematic short, starring a somewhat reluctant Buster Keaton. Foxrock provides the following synopsis:

Samuel Beckett’s only venture into the medium of cinema, Film was written in 1963 and filmed in New York in the summer of 1964, directed by Alan Schneider and featuring Buster Keaton. For the shooting Mr. Beckett made his only trip to America. The film, which has no dialogue, takes its basis Berkeley’s theory Esse est percepti, that is “to be is to be perceived”: even after all outside perception -- be it animal, human or divine -- has been suppressed, self perception remains. Film was edited by Sydney Meyers and the cinematography was by Boris Kaufman, both of whom were preeminent in their fields. Film was produced by Barney Rosset and Evergreen Theater.

Apmonia commentary is forthcoming.

Ordering Information

Foxrock Video, VHS, $29.95

5 Minutes to Live Video, VHS, $20.00

Additional Information

Video Excerpt -- A MPG excerpt of Film from a Czech "rarities" site.

IMDB "Film" Page -- The entry for Film at the Internet Movie Database.

"Film" by Samuel Beckett -- By Katherine Waugh and Fergus Daly, FilmWest 20, 1995. A piece commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of Film.

"Film" Beckett and Failure -- By Ted Sludds, FilmWest 21, 1995. A response to Waugh and Daly's piece, Sludds views Film as an instructional failure.

Brownlow on Beckett (on Keaton) -- By Kevin Brownlow, FilmWest 22, 1995. Brownlow discusses his attempts to persuade Beckett to participate in his documentary about Buster Keaton.

On Samuel Beckett's "Film" -- Written by Barney Rosset, the producer of Film and editor of Evergreen Review.

David Frost on "Film" -- A reflection from a personal Web log.

Textual Cinema and Cinematic Text -- A paper on Film by H. Martin Puchner.


Film: Complete Scenario, Illustrations, Production shots
(With an Essay, "On directing Film")
Faber & Faber, ISBN 0571099424.

--Tim Conley
& Allen B. Ruch
6 March 2003

Email Apmonia -- Send email to Tim Conley and the Great Quail -- comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, submissions . . . all are welcome!

Return to the Beckett Film Page.