MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 44,767 this week

Film (1965)

 -  Short | Drama  -  8 January 1966 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,096 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic

A twenty-minute, almost totally silent film (no dialogue or music one 'shhh!') in which Buster Keaton attempts to evade observation by an all-seeing eye. But, as the film is based around ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 26 Jan 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 19 Jul 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 05 Oct 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 26 Dec 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 13 Jan 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Film" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Film (1965)

Film (1965) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Film.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A drifter at an amusement park finds himself both the bodyguard and hit man of a man targeted by a criminal gang.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Bartine Burkett, Charles Dorety
Film (2011)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Amateur filmmaker Kemal Mutlu captures scenes of everyday life with plans of making a film. He lives with his housemate Nuri in a small flat in Istanbul. One day,Nuri's friend from ... See full summary »

Director: Kerem Topuz
Stars: Mert Aksac, Turgay Atalay, Cumali Karakaya
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A low budget industrial film shot for the Eastman Kodak company in 1963, The Triumph Of Lester Snapwell is a mildly funny film that shows all the troubles of a man named Lester Snapwell (... See full summary »

Director: James Calhoun
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sigrid Nelsson, Nina Varela
Convict 13 (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young golfer is mugged by an escaped convict and finds himself in a prison where he foils a jailbreak.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Roscoe, his wife and his mother-in-law run a seaside resort. Buster plays a gardener who puts out a fire started by Roscoe, then a delivery boy who fights with the cook St. John, then a cop.

Directors: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.

Director: Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

An astronaut goes into space with a chimpanzee. When they return to Earth after their orbit, it is discovered that the chimp has the brains of the astronaut, and the astronaut has the brains of the chimp. Complications ensue.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Frankie Avalon, Deborah Walley, Cesar Romero
Zero (1960)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

An obese man keeps trying to reach a nearby jug of water but continually fails.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After literally walking to Canada from England, Buster takes a cross-country trip across Canada on a railway motorcar (speeder).

Directors: Gerald Potterton, Buster Keaton, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Buster Keaton
The Scribe (1966)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: John Sebert
Stars: Buster Keaton, Cec Linder
Endspiel (TV Movie 1969)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Samuel Beckett
Stars: Werner Stock, Gudrun Genest, Ernst Schröder
One Week (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A newly wedded couple attempt to build a house with a prefabricated kit, unaware that a rival sabotaged the kit's component numbering.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
The Man
Nell Harrison ...
Passerby
...
Passerby
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Susan Reed ...
Old woman
Edit

Storyline

A twenty-minute, almost totally silent film (no dialogue or music one 'shhh!') in which Buster Keaton attempts to evade observation by an all-seeing eye. But, as the film is based around Bishop Berkeley's principle 'esse est percipi' (to be is to be perceived), Keaton's very existence conspires against his efforts Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

8 January 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Samuel Beckett's Film  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The story of making "Film" was the basis of a play "The Stone Face" by Sherry MacDonald. The play was read in Orlando at the 2006 New Playfest, and work shopped at the 2007 New Playfest. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Reasoning of Arrangements (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Buster Keaton visits the Twilight Zone
13 August 2005 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

The situation is simple, so simple that no words are needed. An old man wearing a flat hat and a tattered overcoat is rushing along next to a wall in a bleak urban landscape, near a bridge. He moves hurriedly, head down, doggedly trying to hide his face from everyone he encounters. It is soon apparent that, in addition to hiding his face from passersby, the old man seems to be aware of the camera following him and is attempting to hide his face from "us," i.e. the camera lens itself. On the stairwell in his run-down apartment building he hides his face from the old lady on the stairs -- is she the landlady? -- and rushes into his apartment like a man pursued. Once he is safe in his room he makes every effort to shut out the world. He covers his mirror, removes a portrait from the wall, and recoils from anything that resembles an observing eye, including the decorative circles on the back of his rocking chair, and the circular clasps of a large manila envelope. The old man even refuses to make eye contact with his pets (a dog, a cat, a bird, and a fish) and either puts them out of the room or blocks them from view. Seated, he looks at several photographs, presumably of family members, and tears each one neatly in two, after which he nods off in the chair. As he dozes, "we" (i.e. the camera) circle around and sneak up on him, and finally get a look at his wizened face. The old man awakens, realizes that he has been seen, and reacts with horror. He covers his face with his gnarled hands.

This experimental short was written by Samuel Beckett, and directed by his frequent stage collaborator Alan Schneider. The actor they cast in the lead was not their first choice for the role, but his haunting presence is a key reason why this film called "Film" is still remembered and frequently screened today: the old man is 68 year-old Buster Keaton, who at this point in his career was more commonly seen in TV commercials, variety show guest shots, and occasional movie cameos. This was not at all a typical gig for Buster, nor was it a routine project for Beckett, who was more inclined to write for the stage or radio. Beckett had wanted to work with Keaton several years earlier, when he offered him the role of Estragon in the American stage premiere of "Waiting for Godot," but Buster turned it down and the role went to Bert Lahr. It's said that Buster didn't understand "Godot" and had misgivings about this script as well, but for whatever reason he agreed to star in Beckett's first movie. It's a good thing, too, for even with his face hidden he brings dignity, comic nobility, and the weight of his personal history to the proceedings. Keaton represents his era, carrying the mantle of the battered but unbowed silent clown in this all-but-silent movie. Aside from a single sound effect (a whispered "Sh-h-h-h!") the soundtrack is entirely silent, while the grainy black-and-white stock used for filming is evocative of early cinema. What happens here is not really suggestive of Buster's own early work, but there is a beautifully characteristic sequence when the old man tries to put out his dog and then his cat, only to have each animal slip back in as he attempts to put out the other. Both Beckett and Schneider pronounced themselves more than pleased with Keaton's performance: the latter called him "magnificent."

My reaction to this movie has changed with the passage of time. When I first saw it years ago I found it interesting, but also kind of exasperating; I was frustrated I couldn't see Buster's expression. Now I'm struck by the film's directness and simplicity, and recognize that even a glimpse of the old man's face along the way would kill the impact when the moment of truth finally arrives. Samuel Beckett told an interviewer that the movie was "about a man trying to escape from perception of all kinds -- from all perceivers -- even divine perceivers." In between takes on the set near the Brooklyn Bridge the lead player told a reporter something similar, summarizing the theme as "a man may keep away from everybody but he can't get away from himself." I can't say it better than that and I'm not going to try. I'll simply note that we can be grateful Buster Keaton agreed to take part in this unusual project, a seemingly unlikely collaboration that in my opinion has aged beautifully.


42 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Film (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?