Alphaville Videoteca

Beckett on Film (2001)

Reino Unido. Drama. 622 minutos
Título Original: Beckett on Film
Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Neil Jordan, Atom Egoyan
Intérpretes: John Hurt, Barry McGovern, Johnny Murphy
Formato: DVD  [4 discos] Calidad: DVD
Idioma: Inglés/Francés   Subtítulos: No
Subgénero: Teatro

Beckett on Film was a project aimed at making film versions of all nineteen of Samuel Beckett's plays, with the exception of the early and unperformed Eleutheria. This endeavour was successfully completed, with the first films being shown in 2001.

The project was conceived by Michael Colgan, artistic director of Dublin's Gate Theatre. The films were produced by Colgan and Alan Moloney for the Irish broadcaster RTÉ, the British broadcaster Channel 4 and the Irish Film Board. Each had a different cast and director, drawn from theatre, film and other fields.

The 19 Films:

Courtesy of Michael Dwyer and The Irish Times, the films are:

Waiting For Godot (132 minutes excluding interval).
Michael Lindsay-Hogg directs the Irish cast who played it at the Gate -- Barry McGovern, Johnny Murphy, Stephen Brennan and Alan Stanford.

Not I (15 minutes)
Neil Jordan directs Julianne Moore, the American actress who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in his film, The End of the Affair, and lighting cameraman Roger Pratt who also received an Oscar nomination for his work on that film. "Neil filmed it in one take every time," says Moloney. "At the end of the first take the entire crew applauded, which I've never seen happen before on a film set."

Rough For Theatre I (19 minutes).
Directed by another bright young Irish film-maker, Kieron J. Walsh, who is now in postproduction on the Roddy Doyle scripted romantic comedy feature, Stolen Nights (also known as When Brendan Met Trudy). It features Milo O'Shea and David Kelly.

Ohio Impromptu (15 minutes).
Charles Sturridge directs a doubled Jeremy Irons.

Krapp's Last Tape (55 minutes)
Atom Egoyan, the Canadian filmmaker whose many distinguished credits include Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter and Felicia's Journey, directs. Krapp is played by John Hurt, whose performance in the role earned him rave reviews when the play was staged in London recently.

What Where (12 minutes)
The director is Damien O'Donnell, the young Dubliner whose first feature film, East is East, was a major critical and commercial success and recently won the BAFTA award for Best British Film of 1999. The actors are Sean McGinley and Gary Lewis, and the production designer is Tom Conroy. "Damien has made it more powerful than it's ever been on stage," says Michael Colgan. "Samuel Beckett's nephew, Edward, saw it and he thought it had more of an impact than it ever had on stage."

Footfalls (27 minutes).
Susan Fitzgerald plays May, a role she has played on stage in Dublin, London and New York. The director is Walter Asmus, who was Beckett's favourite director and who has directed the play for the theatre and for German television.

Come and Go (6 minutes).
Theatre director John Crowley's film debut stars Paola Dionisetti, Anna Massey and Sian Philips.

Act Without Words I (22 minutes)
Karel Reisz, who made Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The French Lieutenant's Woman, directs his first film in 10 years. Man is played by the renowned mime artist, John Foley. The music is by Michael Nyman.

Happy Days (79 minutes excluding interval).
The director is Patricia Rozema, the Canadian film-maker who made a remarkable début with I've Heard the Mermaids Singing and followed it with the underrated White Room. Her latest film is the radical Jane Austen adaptation, Mansfield Park. Rosaleen Linehan plays Winnie, a role she has played many times on the stage. Willie is played by Ricahrd Johnson.

Catastrophe (16 minutes)
A true heavyweight production. The playwright and film-maker, David Mamet, directs a cast consisting of Harold Pinter, the playwright whose most recent acting role was in Mansfield Park; Rebecca Pidgeon, who is married to Mamet and has featured in many of his films; and the venerable John Gielgud, in what was his final acting role. "It brings together three of the great playwrights of the last century," Colgan adds. "Beckett was a great influence on Pinter, and Pinter was a great influence on Mamet." The film was shot in an old music hall in London.

Rough For Theatre II (35 minutes). Katie Mitchell directs; starring Timothy Spall, Jim Norton, and Hugh B. O'Brien.

Breath (45 seconds)
There are no characters, just a pile of rubbish, and the director is the artist, Damien Hirst. "He's a mate of mine," says Moloney. "He got a bit nervous because he didn't want to misrepresent Beckett. A lot of the directors felt like that."

That Time (15 minutes).
Charles Garrad directs Niall Buggy.

Endgame (84 minutes)
Michael Gambon and David Thewlis are "extraordinary" as Hamm and Clov, says Colgan, and the cast is completed by Charles Simon and Jean Anderson, both of them 92 years old, as the two people in the dustbins. The film is directed by Conor McPherson, who scripted the Irish movie, I Went Down, and recently turned film director with Saltwater, adapted from his own stage play, This Lime Tree Bower.

Act Without Words II (9 minutes).
The director is Enda Hughes, the resourceful young Armagh filmmaker who made the low-budget feature, The Eliminator, and the award-winning short film, Flying Saucer Rock'n'Roll.

A Piece of Monologue (19 minutes).
Featuring the established Irish stage actor, Stephen Brennan, as Speaker, and directed by Robin Lefevre, whose many credits include the recent Gate production of A Streetcar Named Desire, which featured Frances McDormand, Liam Cunningham and Donna Dent, and the television series, Jake's Progress, written by Alan Bleasdale.

Play (16 minutes).
The director is Anthony Minghella, whose film of The English Patient received nine Oscars, including best picture and best director, and whose most recent movie is the seductive Patricia Highsmith adaptation, The Talented Mr Ripley. He has assembled a remarkably strong cast comprising Juliet Stevenson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Alan Rickman. "Anthony first directed Play when he was a student," Colgan adds.

Rockaby (14 minutes).
The accomplished British theatre and film director, Richard Eyre, is at the helm. The role of Woman is portrayed by Penelope Wilton.