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The Day Shall Dawn: Meeting the head of the village


The Day Shall Dawn: Aaejay Kandar
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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Aaejay, as I already said became... Aaejay Kardar, the director, who became a very good friend, hadn't got all that much experience. In fact, he had no experience. He was... he was the scion of a Bombay film movie family, and his elder brother made many, many movies in Bombay. But he had left and settled in Lahore and he had no actual film making experience, although he'd been around films a long time. So he had certain weaknesses, one could say. So the first time... there's a sequence where the two young lovers, you could say, the man who's courting, he's courting the girl. Aaejay said when they first meet can you pan her up and down. I said, 'I don't think we'll do that'. I said, 'You've got two... you've got at least one very experienced actor here, and the boy's okay, so let's find another way for introducing them to each other without panning her up and down'. So that was cut out.

But then there was a very symbolic thing that, when they're actually ready to kiss each other, possibly, because you don't kiss in Indian films either, but when they approach each other, the camera discreetly pans off and there's a very symbolic bit where there's this... there's this inlet from the river flowing along. They'd sat down by the side of this inlet, and there are water lilies floating on the water, and there's a sort of dam that forms. All the water lilies get collected and stow up. And then suddenly something happens and the flow is released, and that was the symbolic end of that sequence. I don't think that's in the movie either. I have a feeling that that turned out to be a little bit too symbolic. Most of the time the... the acting was more than adequate. And the painter was particularly good because he had this very sad, sort of, resigned hangdog expression, that... it worked extremely well. It's not often that you can find a... what is virtually, an intellectual, and certainly a middle class person, playing a fisherman, a poor fisherman from a remote region convincingly. But he certainly managed that, very beautifully too.

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: The Day Shall Dawn, Aaejay Kandar

Duration: 2 minutes, 38 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008