by James Marsh
Country: USA
Year: 2023
Duration: 98'

Literary genius Samuel Beckett lived a life of many parts: Parisian bon vivant, WWII Resistance fighter, Nobel Prize-winning playwright, philandering husband, recluse. But despite all the adulation that came his, way he was a man acutely aware of his own failings. Titled after Beckett's famous ethos “Dance first, think later,” the film is a sweeping account of the life of this 20th-century icon.


film director

James Marsh

(Truro, UK, 1963) began his film career making documentaries for the BBC; in 1999, he directed his first feature film, Wisconsin Death Trip, which became a cult movie. In 2005, his film The King was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in the section Un certain regarde. Man on Wire (2008) won over twenty-five international prizes, including the 2009 Oscar for best documentary. Project Nim (2011) received the directing award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Shadow Dancer and The Theory of Everything (with which Eddie Redmayne won ad Academy Award) was presented at the Torino Film Festival.


The Animator of Prague (doc., 1990), The Burger & the King: The Life & Cuisine of Elvis Presley (doc., 1996), Wisconsin Death Trip (1999), The Team (doc., 2005), The King (2005), Man on Wire (Man on Wire - Un uomo tra le torri, doc., 2008), Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980 (2009), Project Nim (id., doc., 2011), Shadow Dancer (Doppio gioco, 2012), The Theory of Everything (La teoria del tutto, 2014), The Night of (ep, The Night of - Cos'è successo quella notte?, serie tv, 2016), The Mercy (Il mistero di Donald C., 2018), King of Thieves (2018), Dance First (2023)


film director

“That’s why I wanted to do the film. Beckett is such an interesting proposition, because of how he wrote what he wrote, and how he stands in the literature of the 20th century. And the script was actually kind of playful — it ambushes you early on. You don’t normally think of Beckett as laugh-out-loud or funny, but the script riffs on his work and his way of seeing the world. Essentially, it’s a review of his life through his mistakes, and he’s dwelling on the things that he most regrets. Which sounds like a downer, but in fact it’s mainly love affairs.”


& Credits

DIRECTOR: James Marsh. SCREENPLAY: Neil Forsyth. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Antonio Paladino. EDITING: David Charap. PRODUCTION DESIGN: Damien Creagh. MUSIC: Sarah Bridge. SOUND: Ben Baird. CAST: Gabriel Byrne, Aidan Gillen, Sandrine Bonnaire, Maxine Peake, Fionn O'Shea. PRODUCERS: Michael Livingstone, Viktória Petrányi, Tom Thostrup. CO-PRODUCERS: Deborah Aston, Fabien Westerhoff. PRODUCTION: 2le Media.

CONTACT: Film Constellation chloe@filmconstellation.com