NOTFILM

A kino-essay by Ross Lipman.

  

Produced by Dennis Doros and Amy Heller.  

Featuring: Kevin Brownlow, Judith Douw, S.E. Gontarski, James Karen, Buster Keaton, James Knowlson, Leonard Maltin, Mark Nixon, Barney Rosset, Steve Schapiro, Jean Schneider,  Jeannette Seaver, Haskell Wexler, Billie Whitelaw

and the voices of Samuel Beckett, Boris Kaufman, and Alan Schneider.

Music by Mihály Víg. 

AVAILABLE FROM: MILESTONE FILMS
EMAIL:  MILEFILMS@GMAIL.COM / PHONE: +1 (201) 767-3117

 

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.

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Samuel Beckett's FILM

DIRECTED BY ALAN SCHNEIDER

WRITTEN AND CONCEIVED BY SAMUEL BECKETT

With: Buster Keaton, James Karen, Susan Reed, Nell Harrison

Cinematographer: Boris Kaufman 

Operator: Joe Coffey

Editor: Sidney Meyers  Art Director: Burr Smidt 

Produced by: Barney Rosset with Milt Perlman

Original Release: 1965, by Evergreen Theater, INC.

35 MM, B/W, 22 Min. 

AVAILABLE FROM: MILESTONE FILMS
EMAIL:  MILEFILMS@GMAIL.COM / PHONE: +1 (201) 767-3117   

Samuel Beckett, the celebrated author of Waiting for Godot, made a single work for projected cinema. It’s in essence a chase film; the craziest ever committed to celluloid. It’s 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. The archetypal levels resonate further in the exquisite cinematography of Academy Award-winner Boris Kaufman, whose brothers Dziga Vertov and Mikhail Kaufman created the legendary self-reflexive masterpiece Man With a Movie Camera. Commissioned and produced by Grove Press’s Barney Rosset, FILM is at once the product of a stunningly all-star assembly of talent, and a cinematic conundrum that asks more questions than it answers.

RESTORED BY: UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE, IN COOPERATION WITH THE BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE. PRESERVATION FUNDED THROUGH THE AVANT-GARDE MASTERS PROGRAM FUNDED BY THE FILM FOUNDATION AND ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL FILM PRESERVATION FOUNDATION.  LABORATORY SERVICES BY CINETECH, ASCENT MEDIA, NT PICTURE AND SOUND, DOLBY LABORATORIES, AND AUDIO MECHANICS. SPECIAL THANKS TO: THE ACADEMY FILM ARCHIVE, EDWARD BECKETT, NICOLE BRENEZ, LES ÉDITIONS DE MINUIT, EVERGREEN REVIEW, DAVID GRAY, SHAWN JONES, JONATHAN LEE, IRÈNE LINDON, BRUCE MAZEN, THE PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE, BARNEY AND ASTRID ROSSET.