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Directed by Ross Lipman

United States 2015 130 mins.

Lipman, longtime film restorationist at the UCLA Film & Television Archive and film essayist, dives into the production of Samuel Beckett’s only film credit, a 1964 short simply titled FILM. Beckett, only five years away from winning the Nobel Prize for literature, wrote this elliptical avant-garde short and embarked on a tumultuous collaboration with Buster Keaton, cinematographer Boris Kaufman, theatre director Alan Schneider, and Grove Press publisher Barney Rosset. Through extensive deployment of deemed-lost materials and clips from FILM, Lipman deftly guides us through one of the strangest productions of the 20th century, in the end drawings exciting and provocative parallels with celluloid’s slow fade—and its resurgence–in the early 21st century. “Notfilm asks, as Beckett did, what cinema can tell us of the human experience. It aspires, as Beckett did, to Joyce’s dictum that artworks should not be about things, but be things themselves.”—Ross Lipman.

Read A.O. Scott’s review of Notfilm for The New York Times (3/31/2016)

Genres: Documentary



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.