A play without any cast that runs only 45 seconds is just one of the enigmatic dramas in the new Beckett on Film season.
For the first time ever, all 19 of Samuel Beckett’s plays have been filmed and are being showcased by Channel 4 and FilmFour during 2001–2002. This remarkable project – a collaboration between Channel 4, RTÉ, Tyrone Productions and the Irish Film Board – features a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of distinguished film makers, directors and actors.
‘What we are not doing is putting the plays on an empty stage and putting a camera in the fifth row and turning it on and going out to have a sandwich,’ notes Michael Colgan of Blue Angel Films (who co-produced Beckett on Film with Alan Moloney). ‘We have to be true to the spirit of Beckett who, of course, was the most careful writer in the world. He was also, though, a very imagistic writer … those guys in the sacks, the people buried up to their necks, the characters in the dustbins.’
This resource offers background information to eight Beckett plays, plus biographical information, and analyses of each play's setting, themes and characters. To find out more about Samuel Beckett, visit the Beckett On Film website at www.channel4.com/culture.
The philosophical background to Beckett's work is explored in the Channel 4 book Beckett on Film.