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FROM THE VAULTS: IFI & SAMUEL BECKETT SUMMER SCHOOL SHORTS PROGRAMME

Director:

Eh Joe: 19 mins, 1966; Film (1964): 22 mins, 1964; Film (1979): 26 mins, 1979. All films: Digi-beta.


This screening will be introduced by Jonathan Heron, University of Warwick.

The IFI and the Samuel Beckett Summer School (August 10th – 16th) present a programme of short films from the IFI Irish Film Archive.

Eh Joe (1966):

Eh Joe, an intimate drama exploring the relationship between voice and camera, was written in English by Samuel Beckett, directed by Alan Gibson, and broadcast by the BBC  on 4 July 1966. This original production of the teleplay features Irish actor Jack Mc Gowran in a part especially written for him by Beckett, with the Voice interpreted by British actress Sian Phillips. Eh Joe was then published as a text in 1967 with a number of stage versions following, including a memorable production with actor Michael Gambon in the title role at the Gate in 2006. There are currently thirteen versions recorded, making it the most produced of his teleplays, but this is a rare opportunity to see the original which Beckett worked on extensively.

Film (1964):

Samuel Beckett’s only film screenplay, Film, was shot and produced in New York in 1964 and premiered in 1965 at the Venice Film Festival. Directed by Alan Schneider, who directed many of his plays in first productions in the United States, it features Buster Keaton in the starring role.  Beckett’s choice to make his first foray into the film world a ‘silent movie’ represents his admiration  and respect for the silent film genre, and in particular the work of Buster Keaton. Originally titled The Eye, the film explores concepts of perception and the philosophy of Bishop George Berkeley, the 18th century Irish philosopher. It had a mixed reception when it was released: Gilles Deleuze claimed it as the “greatest Irish film,” while the then Sunday Times reviewer Dilys Powell declared it “a load of old bosh.”

Film (1979):

This is a chance to see a little-known remake of Film and compare it with the original. This version was produced by the British Film Institute in 1979, without the supervision of Beckett. The BFI subtitled the work: Film, A  Screenplay by Samuel Beckett. It was directed by David Rayner Clark and featured Max Wall, the English comedian, music hall and film actor.

Samuel Beckett Summer School
The fourth annual Samuel Beckett Summer School takes place this August at Trinity College Dublin with a programme of seminars, performances, screenings and workshops for lovers of Beckett’s works. Speakers include Lois More Overbeck, Walter Asmus, and Anthony Uhlmann, among others.  For details:  www.beckettsummerschool.com

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