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The Adding Machine


Joanna: Why too many good reviews can be bad
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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When the film was shown in New York, Judith Crist wrote, 'Joanna is a big oozing glob of schmaltz, WL' Walter Lassally 'has given us the most beautiful camerawork he has done in recent years, and he's done some beautiful camerawork in recent years'. So that was... that was something. But I discovered the danger of having my photography over-praised. I discovered, not only on that occasion because once Anthony Page who was a theatre director who started at the Royal Court like Tony, he was associated with Tony, was going to make his first film... again, I can't remember the title. He went to Kate, who also represented Peter Suschitzky and a couple of other... Wolfgang Suschitzky and he wanted one of them, and Kate said, 'Well, I'm afraid they're not available, why don't you take Walter?' And he said, 'Oh no, I don't want to make one of those films which the critics say is so-so, but beautifully photographed by Walter Lassally'. So I discovered it doesn't pay to have your photography over-praised.

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: Joanna, Peter Suschitsky, Walter Suschitsky, Judith Crist

Duration: 1 minute, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008