Ross Lipman -- noted for his terrific restorations of works by Chaplin, Welles, Altman, Cassavetes, Shirley Clarke and Kenneth Anger -- and who turns out to himself have a tremendous talent for documentary filmmaking, 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.
FILM, written by that uber-famous-and-reclusive writer Mr. Beckett; directed by a noted theater director but newcomer to movies, Alan Schneider; and starring the beloved silent-film star, Keaton, who died the year after Film was completed.
TrustMovies imagined that he had somehow seen Film when it first appeared. Well, he hadn't. But he is happy to have seen it now. Though not considered much of a success upon its release, the little film holds up much better than critical assessment would have it. All about "the we and the I" (eye) -- with a nod to Michel Gondry -- Film is also about seeing and being seen, and, as always with Mr. Beckett, about the state of being itself.
Tarantino's The Hateful Eight last night and gave up nearly three hours to that well-acted, dreadfully written, poorly conceived, sub-level, Agatha-Christie-writes-a-western piece of trash. Talk about wasted time that one can never recover.)
Barney Rosset and what he wanted to do with his Film and how he planned to achieve it. While this will be catnip for Beckett fans, even those, like me, who don't find his work as meaningful or brilliant as do some, it will still fascinate,
Kevin Brownlow; Jean Schneider (the widow of Alan); premiere Beckett interpreter, the now late Billie Whitelaw; and many others, including James Karen an actor friend of Keaton who plays a supporting role in Film, Lipman allows us to learn so very much about how art is created and how life intrudes on that art. (Mr. Beckett's cataracts -- that's the writer, shown above and below -- have much to do with how the Keaton character perceives the world in front of him).
Leonard Maltin, who was but a youngster at the time, managed to be there on location near the Brooklyn Bridge (above) as filming took place.
Haskell Wexler who, only by chance, was unable to shoot Film).
Milestone Films and will open in New York City this Friday, April 1, for a one-week run at Anthology Film Archives and in Los Angeles at the American Cinematheque from April 1 - 9. At both theaters you'll have the chance to see Film along with NotFilm. (Check the schedule for each theater.) Further screenings across the country can be found by clicking here. Whether or not Film will be shown along with NotFilm at other venues is unclear as of now. If I were you, I'd call the theater you're near and make certain -- beg if you must -- that management plans to schedule both for viewing.