Gary Johnson wrote:My view of Sam Beckett's FILM -- NotWatch.
Yeah.....except that the film is fascinating in just one way: to watch Keaton as being one of the few performers who could make a role in which he is seen mostly from behind interesting. Keaton does take a typical Samuel Beckett one-note idea pretending to be obscure and deep (Beckett was such a darling of the pretentious and pseudo-intellectuals just because he would never cop to those concepts, or would hide them further in obscurist bullshit if someone asked him to explain, if you want a real laugh, read the essay that one was supposed to be presented to read BEFORE one watched FILM) and makes something of it.
I always was amused by Director Alan Schneider's condescending remarks about Keaton in his own ego-over-talent-driven autobiography, he basically dismisses Keaton as a broken-down old clown, when it's obvious that Keaton is the only reason the film has had any immortality at all. Buster was onto the whole thing from the get-go, when asked what it was all about hit nail-head with the response, " You can't run away from yourself", and while Schneider and Beckett snickered at Keaton's on-set non-chalance and supposed philistinism (he apparently read the newspaper while they agonized over their frankly amateurish grasp of filmmaking), Keaton would then with seeming effortlessness saunter on-camera and bring whatever brilliance there was to this table. The irony is that of Keaton's late-life short films like THE HOMEOWNER, THE RAILRODDER, and THE SCRIBE, FILM is pretty much the least of them, and it was the only one with any pretentions towards "art".
RICHARD M ROBERTS