REVIEWS

 

“NOTFILM testifies to an almost inexhaustible fascination with the pleasures and paradoxes of cinema…. Notfilm finds a hitherto uncharted dimension of human and cinematic experience.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

“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

VILLAGE VOICE CRITICS’ PICK ”Ross Lipman's studious, rigorous, and surprisingly tender documentary…gives us access to Beckett at work” – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

“Notfilm is enthralling..  as we witness Rosset and Whitelaw struggling beneath the oppressive weight of age, the documentary becomes about memory and its fading. In other words, the obliteration that awaits us all—the foundation of Beckett’s art.” - Scott Eyman, Film Comment

“Lipman’s Notfilm re-contextualizes Beckett’s life and art in a way few critical or biographical studies have thus far managed to do.” – David Ehrenstein, Keyframe

“Illuminating… Lipman has ensured that the singular Film, which itself portrays the passage of time as a process of elimination, won’t be forgotten.” – Benjamin Mercer, Brooklyn Magazine

Notfilm will have you thinking about film, perception, and memory long after you leave the theatre. It is Notjustafilm—it is much more." Tanya Goldman, Screen Slate

“It is the most successful work of docu-criticism since Richard Misek’s Rohmer in Paris. Highly recommended” - Joe Bendel,  JBSpins Blog

 ”Must-see cinema” ... worthy of its lofty subjects. This double feature [FILM + NOTFILM] is required viewing for all serious aesthetes, film students and lovers of the cinematic stuff that dreams are made of.” – Ed Rampell,  Hollywood Progressive

“[A] complex and moving documentary… that stick(s) with you after the curtain falls.”  - Doug Harvey, Artillery

“Lipman unpacks the method, reasoning, and personality behind FILM; his focus… elevates Notfilm beyond documentary” – Emily Gibson, Austin Chronicle

"A thorough and insightful reflection on artistic difference, the complexities of different mediums, and the ability of a work (Beckett's FILM) to be chaotic, messy... and brilliant.  NOTFILM is a slow, intricate and deeply worthwhile look at Beckett's incredibly short screenwriting career."  - Jeremy Elphick,  4X3

"There’s a sprawling history lesson here... a gleeful irresponsibility... (and) a jaunty game of tug of war... buoyed by discrete moments of genuine pathos.  There’s marrow there, and a pulse, and Notfilm finds itself engaging in a genuine dialogue with Beckett and Film and perception, rather than simply explaining."  -- William Brock, Phindie

“…a remarkable job….  fascinating, even thrilling.” – Jonathan Richards, Santa Fe New Mexican

"Notfilm is a kind of Venn diagram in which silent comedy, Russian formalism, James Joyce's stream-of-consciousness, underground film, European art cinema and Beat poets all cross paths on a street in the Bronx in 1964.... With its wide intellectual range and an energetic ability to reach in every direction, Notfilm is a unique, heady achievement worthy of its subjective subjects."  -- Robert Hunt, Riverfront Times  

“The credits for Notfilm list Lipman as writer, photographer, editor, and narrator, but not as director. Does this imply that a director is merely the sum of the other skills? Or is it an attempt at modesty? If the latter, it is belied by the ambition, scope, research, and exhilarating sweep of his project...” – Tony Pipolo, Artforum

“A smart and fascinating film, and also a personal one”  –  Lee Wochner

“You had best put his movie NOTFILM on your must-see list. That is, if you have any reverence for Buster Keaton, Samuel Beckett, cinema history and the artistic and filmmaking processes.” – James van Maanen, TrustMovies.com

“Manna from heaven for film and theater buffs alike… delivers many insightful observations that make this effort a work of solid scholarship as well as delicious dish. That it works equally well on both levels makes it as entertaining as it is educational.”  – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

Notfilm… justifies its own existence… as a film steadfastly grasping at the meaning of its own medium and it’s approach within it. It’s meta, but in the least obnoxious way possible and… it’s worth the effort to get to the beautiful nuggets of gold it… mines.” -- Derek Smith, Tiny Mix Tapes

“Lipman has a knack for making associations. He shows how this oddity [Film] epitomizes Beckett’s art. He unfurls a web of serendipitous connections that includes the 18th-century idealist philosopher George Berkeley, Honoré de Balzac’s 1851 play “Mercadet,” and the silent movie masterpieces of Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.” — Peter Keough, Boston Globe

“Lipman blends his detailed historical account of Film’s production with good gossip and gently wandering reflections on the big questions: perception, memory, mortality, time and the fundamental nature of cinema…..  By exploring the great gap between intention and achievement, by preferring valiant failure to perfection, Lipman has crafted a poignant love letter to cinema’s possibilities.”  - Alison Gilmor, Winnipeg Free Press

 “The amount of priceless material unearthed or contextualized along the way verging on the staggering.” - James Lattimer, Slant

“NOTFILM is one of the most delightful, thoroughgoing and ingenious pieces of archival filmmaking to hit the screen in recent years. Unmatched in its depth and detail, it redefines the meaning of "making of" - Liza Bear, Bomb