Alan Schneider on Samuel Beckett’s “Film”

Part 1 of Beckett’s “Film” (Dir. Alan Schneider, Starring Buster Keaton)

Part 2 of “Film”

The blog, A Piece of Monologue, has posted some remarks made by the director Alan Schneider in 1969, about working with Beckett on Beckett’s Film. Since I know many of you are deeply interested in Beckett’s work, I wanted to let you know of this post (which includes some great photos). To read the whole thing, please click here.

Here is how the post begins:

Director Alan Schneider discusses working with Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton on the set of Film in New York:

With every new wavelet of contemporary cinema turning directors, in effect, into authors, it took the surprising author of Film, playwright Samuel Beckett, to become, not too surprisingly, its real director. Not that I wasn’t always around, red director’s cap flying, riding the camera dolly, or telling Buster what to do. But, from original concept to final cut, it was the special vision and tone set by Sam which all of us were dedicated to putting on film-our intrepid producer, Barney Rosset; Boris Kaufman, our quiet painstaking director of photography; Joe Coffey, that great bearded sweating giant of a camera operator; Sidney Meyers, the most sensitive of editors; Burr Smidt, our friendly resourceful designer; and even, in his way, a baffled but most amenable Keaton. Sometimes we glimpsed that vision clearly. Sometimes we fought it. Sometimes, many times, I’m afraid, we tried to achieve it and failed. Once or twice, we may have transmuted it into something it wasn’t; perhaps, as in Sam’s generous words afterward, acquiring “a dimension and validity of its own that are worth far more than any merely efficient translation of intention.” But, in the process, it was exactly that faithful translation of intention we were all after.

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