Samuel Beckett, Film, presented by Simon Critchley at Bar Laika

Samuel Beckett, Film, presented by Simon Critchley at Bar Laika

Samuel Beckett, Film (film still), 1966, 24:00 minutes.

Samuel Beckett, Film, presented by Simon Critchley at Bar Laika
January 9, 2020, 9pm
Bar Laika by e-flux
224 Greene Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Samuel Beckett, Film, 1966, 24:00 minutes
Written by Samuel Beckett, directed by Alan Schneider and starring Buster Keaton, Film remains one of the greatest experimental movies ever made.

Based around Bishop Berkeley’s principle ‘esse est percipi” (to be is to be perceived), the film follows an old man who struggles to evade observation by an all-seeing eye. We first see him walking the streets, heading home, trying desperately to shield his face from passerby’s. Once home, he begins covering up the mirrors and the cages his pets are kept in. He continually keeps his back to the camera, as if he knows we too are watching him. Throughout the film, the camera floats around the room, until it is able to sneak up on the man, and reveal his face.

Simon Critchley will try to explain how to be or not to be is NOT the question.

Simon Critchley is Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research. His books include Very Little…Almost Nothing (1997), Infinitely Demanding (2007), The Book of Dead Philosophers (2009) and The Faith of the Faithless (2012). Recent works include a novella, Memory Theatre, a book-length essay, Notes on Suicide and studies of David Bowie and Football. His most recent book is Tragedy, The Greeks and Us (Pantheon, 2019). He is series moderator of ‘The Stone’, a philosophy column in The New York Times and co-editor of The Stone Reader (2016). He is also 50% of an obscure musical combo called Critchley & Simmons.

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