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 »

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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>

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Short | Drama

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8 January 1966 (USA)  »

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The Eye  »

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1.37 : 1
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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 »

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Referenced in Notfilm (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb silent movie star with excellent director gives Beckett his due!
15 September 2005 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most rewarding short films I have ever seen - and I have seen many! - and it haunts me even now, more than 35 years after I saw it for the first (and only) time. That was during a cinema club season in Bergen, Norway, where part of the program was a "short film night" devoted to silent movies, short movies, and various combinations of these. The audience was clearly confused, since "Film" was obviously not what most had expected. And in company with "Nosferatu" (l922), "Freaks" (1932) and "Terminus" (1961 - a documentary of a British railway station) it did strike a very different chord than sheer horror and sober facts did.

Beckett's work at that time was slowly gaining ground in Norway, as did Pinter's - trying to promote either was an uphill task in a mountainous country unused to modern drama and more tuned to sports. The discussions in a seminar after the showing proved this... But this resistance to something obviously alien did not detract from my pleasure (and several others') in relishing a masterpiece, where nothing could have been improved on. A book called "Film by Samuel Beckett" was published by Faber in 1971, and generously offers complete scenario and a profusion of illustrations and production shots. It has also comments by Beckett and an essay by Schneider, and is a useful substitute for anybody without access to the Film itself.

Agreeing with other commentators, I can only say that this is really an absorbing and disturbing experience - quite unique! And one that leaves you thinking and wondering and shuddering for a long time.


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