A young woman sits down in a chair. Only her mouth is visible as she begins to speak at a rapid clip, describing events that she insists did not really happen to her.

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A young woman sits down in a chair. Only her mouth is visible as she begins to speak at a rapid clip, describing events that she insists did not really happen to her.

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Featured in Check the Gate: Putting Beckett on Film (2003) See more »

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Walpurgis Night
Composed by Iain Ballamy
Performed by Iain Ballamy and Joanna MacGregor
Courtesy of SoundCircus SC002 Outside in Pianist
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not you!
7 March 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I didn't like the way Neil Jordan filmed this play. Beckett's idea was to have an apparently disembodied mouth hover a few feet above the stage, spewing an apparently stream of consciousness monologue.

Jordan casts Julianne Moore, who is a great actress, and gives a good rendition of the monologue. But the film is too excited about the fact that a real movie star is in it: at the beginning, we have to watch Moore sit down in a chair (with cameras pointing at her mouth), just so that we know it's really her. This spoils the concept of an anonymous, disembodied mouth. Another problem is that Moore's mouth is, frankly, too pretty: Beckett wanted the mouth lit by a harsh light, but Moore's is lit to make her lips look luscious - pleasant to look at, but not really Beckett's point.

It's OK. But a filming method closer to Beckett's stage intentions would have made the point better.


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