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Official Selection
Dance First
Australian Premiere

Dance First

Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Marsh (Man on a Wire, The Theory of Everything) brings the life of Literary genius Samuel Beckett to the screen. Beckett, played with gusto by Gabriel Byrne, lived a life of many parts: Parisian bon vivant, WWII Resistance fighter, Nobel Prize-winning playwright, philandering husband, recluse. Despite all the adulation that came his way he was a man acutely aware of his own failings.

Profiling Beckett’s life from his time as a fighter for the French Resistance during the Second World War, through to his friendship with fellow Irish literary luminary James Joyce, his rise with such groundbreaking plays as Waiting for Godot, Endgame and Happy Days — which established the Theater of the Absurd movement — to his receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969, and his later life as a recluse Byrne gives a tour de force performance as Beckett, alongside Sandrine Bonnaire as his longtime partner, and eventual wife, Suzanne Deschevaux-Dumesnil.

Titled after Beckett's famous ethos "Dance first, think later," the film is a sweeping account of the life of a true 20th-century icon.

2023 | 100 min | UK | Biographical Drama
Director: James Marsh
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Aidan Gillen, Olivia Williams, Fionn O’Shea, Sandrine Bonnaire, Grainne Good

Festivals and Awards

San Sebastian International Film Festival 2023