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Heat and Dust: BAFTA nomination


Heat and Dust: Going to Kashmir
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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When we went to Kashmir we were met at Srinagar Airport by the advanced guard who'd been up there before. In fact, Ismail, I think, was there before, and we met him at the airport. And, some telegrams, or telexes, were handed to Ismail as he got into the car for the trip up to the mountains to Gulmarg was the place were we shot those scenes. And we'd just left Srinagar Airport and Ismail was looking through his mail, which had just been handed to him, and suddenly he said, 'We're going to be given $6 million!' And absolutely on cue, the engine caught fire. You know, the engine started smoking, it was like the engine couldn't cope with that news. The car stopped and we all got out, thinking the thing was going to go on fire. But it didn't. It wasn't that serious. It was a wonderful, wonderful... one of those occasions when things happen on cue. But, of course, the $6 million, when he read the details, he sort of went through it very quickly and James was in the car and he said so and so, and six movies within four months, or something ridiculous like that. And James said, 'What was that?'

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: Merchant Ivory, James Ivory, Ismail Merchant, Heat and Dust

Duration: 1 minute, 16 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008