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Dance First

Dance First

James Marsh / United Kingdom, Hungary & Belgium / 2023

Gabriel Byrne plays Samuel Beckett in Oscar-winning documentarian James Marsh's biopic on the life and works of the literary genius. The man behind the myth is portrayed with humour and irony.

Most people would probably be happy to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. But not Samuel Beckett. The solemn ceremony that would be the crowning finale in any other film about a writer is hilariously depicted as a nightmare in the opening of James Marsh’s new film about the life and works of the literary genius. Gabriel Byrne stars as Beckett, the Irish poet and writer with the notoriously bleak outlook on life who challenged the boundaries of language more than anyone else in the 20th century. From his childhood and upbringing in Dublin, before his years in Paris as an assistant to James Joyce, and the fateful meeting with his life’s muse Suzanne (played by French arthouse icon Sandrine Bonnaire). James Marsh is best known for documentaries such as the Oscar-winning ‘Man on Wire’, but has created an engaging portrait of the man behind the myth – and the cultural milieu he struggled to enter, and since leave.