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Rider: The collapse of the project


Walter Lassally Film-maker
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When I did go back it was for a film that was planned that was called Rider, which was going to... It's all about the people who do the circle of death in this circular arena. You know, ride the motorbike up the side of the thing, and it's quite a good script, which was a Mephistopheles, it was a Faust subject, Mephistopheles subject. Orson Wells again was in and Oliver Reed, and it was a co-production between Finos and quite a respectable English company, which was actually funded by, I think, the Daily Mail. It had connections with a major newspaper. Anyway, a lot of discussions evolved where the Greek side was so suspicious of the English side, they kept saying, 'Yes, we're giving 40%, you're giving 60%, but how do we know that your 60% isn't really 100%', and... you know, and there was no reason for it.

Born in Germany, cinematographer Walter Lassally (1926-2017) was best known for his Oscar-winning work on 'Zorba the Greek'. He was greatly respected in the film industry for his ability to take the best of his work in one area and apply it to another, from mainstream to international art films to documentary. He was associated with the Free Cinema movement in the 1950s, and the British New Wave in the early 1960s. In 1987 he published his autobiography called 'Itinerant Cameraman'.

Listeners: Peter Bowen

Peter Bowen is a Canadian who came to Europe to study and never got round to heading back home. He did his undergraduate work at Carleton University (in Biology) in Ottawa, and then did graduate work at the University of Western Ontario (in Zoology). After completing his doctorate at Oxford (in the Department of Zoology), followed with a year of postdoc at the University of London, he moved to the University's newly-established Audio-Visual Centre (under the direction of Michael Clarke) where he spent four years in production (of primarily science programs) and began to teach film. In 1974 Bowden became Director of the new Audio-Visual Centre at the University of Warwick, which was then in the process of introducing film studies into the curriculum and where his interest in the academic study of film was promoted and encouraged by scholars such as Victor Perkins, Robin Wood, and Richard Dyer. In 1983, his partner and he moved to Greece, and the following year he began to teach for the University of Maryland (European Division), for which he has taught (and continues to teach) biology and film courses in Crete, Bosnia, and the Middle East.

Tags: Rider, Orson Welles, Oilver Reed

Duration: 52 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008