Tuesday 21st November 2017 – Samuel Beckett
Film is set in 1929, a year which marks the beginning of the end for silent film production. It was produced in 1964, during the rediscovery of silent film by the nouvelle vague, and a great revival of interest in Buster Keaton’s silent comedies. Henri Langlois had programmed a season of Keaton films at the Cinémathèque Française in 1962 to popular and critical acclaim. Beckett’s film is both a silent Keaton chase comedy, and also a disquisition on camera-consciousness and the split-subject. In this respect, it belongs to two contexts: the self-reflexive exploration of the limits and conditions of the medium in sixties art cinema, and the widespread resistance to the end of the silent era in 1929, signaled by the crucial effect of Keaton’s star persona as faded icon, contemplating his own distant and irretrievable past.