Buster Keaton in Samuel Beckett’s “Film” (1965)

Posted by Brandy Dean November 6, 2011 5 Comments 5698 views

Whoa you guys… in my daily Buster Keaton foray (how do you start your day?), I came across this short film made by Sam Beckett in 1965. This is Beckett’s only attempt to crack the film medium, and it stars none other than Buster Keaton.

This is more classic Beckett than classic Keaton, but the meta-dramatic principles at play suit Keaton just fine. In “Film,” Keaton plays O. (object) seeking to avoid the all-seeing E. (eye). It’s truly silent… not only is there no dialouge, there’s no music. This is however a single, “Shhh!”

I can go on about it but you want to see it, right?

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After watching you might want to read this illuminating essay on Beckett, Bishop Berkley’s “esse est percipi” principle (to be seen is to be perceived), and more than you probably want to know about E. and O.

About Brandy Dean

Social media consultant, blogger for hire, and lover of classic movies and silent films.

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There are 5 Comments

  1. - November 6, 2011
      -   Reply

    the film wasn’t originally designed to be silent and I don’t believe it was ever released. It actually works very well as a complete silent-very French avant-garde looking and a little spooky too.

  2. - November 6, 2011
      -   Reply

    Thanks for the info… I didn’t know this existed until I came across it this morning. I do agree that there is something very spooky about it, probably largely attributable to complete silence. There’s also something very spooky about following Keaton from behind as well, where he’s a figure that’s so familiar yet so foreign here.

  3. - November 6, 2011
      -   Reply

    when it was filmed, it was excessively hot and humid, Keaton, trooper and professional that he was, never complained and did as many takes as needed. It had to have been made in 1965 and released in 1966. Keaton died in Feb 1966 and his last appearance before the moving picture camera was for The Scribe-filmed here in Toronto in early November.

    • - November 7, 2011
        -   Reply

      Yeah, I did some more digging and you have to be right – definitely 1965.

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