Five years before he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, Samuel Beckett made his sole trip to the United States to make his only film. Film, starring the aging comic genius Buster Keaton, was a fiercely ambitious project that Beckett judged “an interesting failure” and Keaton thought incomprehensible. Ross Lipman’s extensive kino-essay Notfilm digs into the heart of one of film history's most curious artistic encounters. James Joyce, Sergei Eisenstein and other intellectual giants appear in the most unexpected places in the strange and surprisingly funny story of the film's tumultuous creation. Lipman’s energetic, associative editing uses clips from Buñuel, Vertov, Vigo, and many more as he explores Beckett’s ideas and their genesis.
(Ross Lipman, USA, 2015, 128 min., DCP)
Ross Lipman is an independent filmmaker and archivist. Formerly Senior Film Restorationist at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, his many restorations include Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep, Kent Mackenzie's The Exiles, and works by Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Clarke, and Kenneth Anger, among others. He has received Anthology Film Archives' Preservation Honors and the National Society of Film Critics' Heritage Award, and his essays on film history, technology, and aesthetics have been published in Artforum, Sight and Sound, and numerous academic books and journals. His films have screened internationally and been collected by museums and institutions including the Oberhausen Kurzfilm Archive, Budapest's Balazs Bela Studios, The Academy Film Archive, and Anthology Film Archives.