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Joanna: a film about the swinging sixties

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Working in Greece again: The Little Dolphins
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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I didn't work in Greece again until into the- in the 90s. When in 1993 I got a sudden phone call from somebody speaking on behalf of Dimopoulos saying, Dimopoulos is making this new film and would you be interested. I said- yes, I'd be very interested, I'd be delighted, in fact. So I came and we made a film called "The Little Dolphins", which is a film with four children as- four 10-year-olds, 11-year-olds as the main protagonists. And it was made in the west of Greece near Argos, sorry, near Arta on a bay called the Amvrakikou Colpo, so the film is called, in English it's called "The Little Dolphins", but in Greek it's called "Ta Delphinakia tou Amvrakikou", being the dolphins of this little bay. Aand, again, it was made very efficiently, very quickly and for very little money. But, by the time that film was made, there was no longer an audience for it. So it got a big hand in Salonica at the festival. It didn't get a prize, except a special prize that was given to the children, which they created especially for the occasion. But festival prizes I shall talk about at some other, at some other point, because it's always a lot of political nonsense going on. But it had a big success in Salonica. It had the biggest- I was there for the whole festival, I saw nearly every movie that was shown, that year, that was in 93. And, it got the biggest round of applause of any movie. But then it didn't take any money, because it's a family film and families don't go to the cinema anymore. It's really tragic. It's such a shame because it's a nice film. Now, unfortunately, in- last year or the year before, Dimopoulos died, so that was a great shame, very sad. In fact, in the last few years a lot of people have died. But I suppose one has to expect that when you get to my age.

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: 2 minutes, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008