Samuel Beckett. Work for Film and Television
Beginning in the mid-1970s, Beckett showed a steady interest in the use of mass communication. As a consequence, during the following two decades, he wrote and made one movie and seven television productions. This series draws attention to this work with the screening of the pieces that Beckett conceived expressly for film and television, along with the publication of a catalogue that includes texts related to these audiovisual productions.
Focusing on these works (or, for instance, on his radio pieces) means taking a first step toward the multidisciplinary and philosophical outlook demanded by Beckett’s work. The first sessions in the series are dedicated to pieces directed by the author himself: Film (1965), co-directed with Alan Schneider (Krakow, 1917 - London, 1984) in New York and featuring Buster Keaton in the leading role; the six television plays he produced for the German Süddeutscher Rundfunk between 1966 and 1986; and Not I (1989), written in the early 1970s and later adapted by Beckett for television. Alternative versions in English of some of these pieces are also being screened; Eh Joe and What Where, both produced in 1988 and supervised by Beckett, present a way to understand the constant thirst for perfection and essentialism that guided Beckett’s poetics. The programme ends with the televised versions authorised by the author of two theatrical works - Footfalls, directed in 1988 by Walter Asmus (Lubeck, 1941) and Krapp’s Last Tape, directed by Schneider in 1971 - along with a documentary produced by Chris Hegedus (U.S., 1952) and D. A. Pennebaker (Illinois, 1925) on the creation and presentation of Rockaby in 1981 and, finally, some short films from the Beckett on Film project begun by the Gate Theatre in Dublin in 2001 with the participation of several internationally renowned artists, actors and filmmakers.