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Beckett on Film DVD Set
Beckett on Film DVD Set
Actors: Kristen Scott Thomas, Alan Rickman, Harold Pinter, Julianne Moore, Jeremy Irons
Director: Walter Asmus;Aton Egoyan;Charles Garrad;Enda Hughes;Robin Lefevre;Kiere J. Walsh;Charles Sturridge;Patricia Rozema;Karel Reisz;Damien O'Donnell;Katie Mitchell;Anthony Minghella;Conor McPherson;David Mamet;Niel Jordan
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
G     2002     10hr 47min

2003 PEABODY AWARD WINNER! This acclaimed film project includes all 19 plays of Samuel Beckett, considered the most significant Irish playwright of the 20th century. Many of these outstanding filmed productions have rec...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Kristen Scott Thomas, Alan Rickman, Harold Pinter, Julianne Moore, Jeremy Irons
Director: Walter Asmus;Aton Egoyan;Charles Garrad;Enda Hughes;Robin Lefevre;Kiere J. Walsh;Charles Sturridge;Patricia Rozema;Karel Reisz;Damien O'Donnell;Katie Mitchell;Anthony Minghella;Conor McPherson;David Mamet;Niel Jordan
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: John Hughes, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Ambrose Video
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 07/22/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 05/13/2003
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 10hr 47min
Screens: Black and White,Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

An Abomination
Marshall | 04/15/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"With great anticipation and relish i awaited this accumulation of the works of probably one of the greatest playwrites of the 20th century. Having seen a short promotional film of the project, my eagerness was picqued.But, alas, flash, star-worship and diminished expectations rule once again in this travesty. Having actually not even been able to sit through the Endgame of this set, and having also seen the foolish, punk-flash version of Breath, and the unsympathetic and misunderstood, braindead interpretation of Not I, i am so appalled i nearly whipped this weighty and overly expensive set, frisbee-like,out the window.
It never ceases to amaze how so much star power can do so much damage. Remember the Broadway travesty of Godot a few years ago with Robin Williams?
So, Engame is a beautiful performance. all the Gaelic colloquial nuance of Beckett's language,perfectly understood and delivered in a heightened naturalism that is a joy to behold. The only problem is, one can NOT behold it because of the hack direction. Done in obsessively Television Direction School multi-camera work, anytime a charecter speaks or moves he is held in extreme talking-head close-up. next actor speaks, close up for him, then back to the other actor and so on and so on until the stomach of the viewer churns from this sea-sick demntia of camera close-ups,reaction shots, two shots and flashing long shots. So you don't have a play, or a film, you end up with a Television show of utter convention and utter unwatchability. i suggest people stay away from this possibly well-intentioned but decadent and unwatchable and expensive lump of Beckett Meets Hollywood by way of London."
For the starved
Richard P. Michaelson | Iowa City, IA | 11/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Those of us living in the heartland - Iowa, in my case - have little access to live productions of Beckett's work. This DVD set provides my only window into the performance of several of these plays. Until I purchased this set I had never SEEN Endgame, though I had read the work dozens of times. The same is true of several other plays. This set provides ACCESS, and I am eternally grateful to the producers, directors, actors, and crew for granting me a glimpse into a world otherwise beyond me immediate apprehension. Nit-pick if you must, but we living in the desert cannot but rejoice at this cool drink. "We're getting on"!"
A Formidable Achievement
A Reader | 07/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The fact that this DVD set exists at all is cause for ecstatic and superlative praise: at last we have nearly all the plays of one of the 20th century's most technically innovative--but also emotionally affecting and eloquent--dramatists, available together in professional productions created with sympathy, respect for the author's intentions, and often inspired insight into these works' theatrical potential.

Because this box set presents the work of 19 different directors, each working with a different play, it is inevitable that this collection would be uneven: the most disappointing performances, in my opinion, are drawn from the most familar works: Endgame, in particular, suffers from an awkward rhythm and rushed delivery which violates both the general sense of the work as well as several of its most memorable and touching sequences.

There are nonetheless many very pleasant surprises among these performances, none more welcome than Julianne Moore's extraordinary rendition of "Not I." John Hurt's version of "Krapp's Last Tape" will similarly, I think, come to be regarded as definitive, as will the idiosyncratic collaboration among David Mamet, Harold Pinter, and the late Sir John Gielguld in "Catastrophe." Most revelatory of all is the rendition of "Rough for Theatre II," which turns what reads in print as an ostensibly inconsequential fragment into a nuanced and perhaps uniquely detailed contribution to the Beckett canon.

Perhaps the greatest mystery in a package promising to be "the comprehensive cinematic interpretation of Beckett's plays" are the omissions here, most surprisingly his several works--"Eh Joe,' "Nacht und Traume," "...but the clouds," among others--for television. One also wonders, given the extraordinarily generous resources at the producers' disposal, if it was only the Beckett estate that prevented a mounting of the author's great deskdrawer drama Eleutheria, or the early fragment "Human Wishes."

The fact that this set is easily available, and that it contains so many highlights, ultimately overrides any disappointments. The price of this collection probably puts it out of reach of all but the most devoted fans of Samuel Beckett--which is also a shame, because many of these performances would refute the unreflective complaints that Beckett's work is boring, emotionally arid, or depressing. Were the set less expensive, it would help win for Beckett a popular audience commensurate with his contribution to contemporary literature and theatre. But for those of us lucky enough to own a copy, there is much to enjoy, contemplate, and re-play for years to come."
A real score for Beckett aficionados
FanOfDoocyFan55 | Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Not to gush, but many of the versions in this set far surpass my expectations of film adaptations of theatre. For instance, "Endgame" is brilliantly realized, with finely nuanced acting. Top talent on both sides of the camera, often visually arresting works. Really great stuff for any Beckett or experimental theatre enthusiast. Pricey, but worth it."