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Getting fired twice


What a Life
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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So the subject of this comedy was that there's these two people, these two friends, who decide that England isn't worth living in anymore so they're going to commit suicide. So they go down to Southend and they get a little... they get a little tiny little row boat, and he's quite a large man, so you have these two figures, this large man and this rather smaller man, played by Russell Waters, also a very familiar face and very good actor. These two people... they've got a little Union Jack at the back of the boat and they have these... they have something... some sort of weight round their neck so that they really drown when they jump in, you see. So they row out with this little Union Jack fluttering behind them, and they row some way out, and then they put these necklaces on, which are... I think, like millstones or something, they were. And, they kind of cross themselves and they jump in, but the water's only knee deep. So they have a good laugh and they wade back to shore, and that's the end... the end of the film. That was during that period of my focus puller and second unit period.

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: film, comedy, row boat, focus puller

Duration: 1 minute, 9 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008