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Working in Greece again: The Little Dolphins

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Rider (Part 2)
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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So this film called "Rider" was being prepared and it was going to be directed by Andrew Sinclair, with whom I'd worked indirectly on "Malachi's Cove". He was the producer of that and Henry Herbert was the director. So I knew Andrew and he was a very nice man and preparations were going well until a major difficulty developed because the Greek side, represented by Mike Damalas who was standing in for Finos at that time, Finos was, was sort of getting ready to retire, so he left things to Damalas who became a sort of General Manager. But he was so suspicious that eventually the film collapsed. And the, and the- Because they talked so much about how the pudding was to be divided that they forgot to bake the pudding in the first place. Orson Welles had arrived and Oliver Reed had arrived and somebody else had arrived, we'd shot some second unit footage with a, a tiny, diminutive girl doubling for Oliver Reed in the stunt sequences because they'd brought this, this wall of death arena and put it up outside the new Finos studio, which is near where the new airport is. We shot for about a week on this- all the motor cycle riding bits with this tiny girl doubling, because on the motor cycle you can't tell. Then they all arrived and it turned out that the film wasn't going to be made. And, sets had been built and quite a lot of money had been spent. Orson Welles invited everybody to a great banquet, a great dinner, and then handed the production the bill and left. But he had every- you know, he was right. That was a great shame because it could've been, it could've been a very commercial film. It had a commercial script, it had a good idea, the "Faust" idea, you know, the Mephistopheles/Faust thing. It should've been- It's a great shame that it collapsed because it could've been a very commercial film, and a very good film. No reason why it shouldn't have been.

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.

Duration: 1 minute, 54 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008