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The Clown: my best review ever

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The Clown: shooting a black and white sequence
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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Now that film contained a black and white sequence. Quite a few films that I made in the period after black and white ceased to be the norm, contained black and white sequences. And as the years went by, as I've already mentioned, it got more and more and more difficult because, the people that understood black and white, had either retired or died. And to get it properly processed was a problem, to obtain the film stock could be a problem. But in that sequence- in that film there was a World War II sequence, and I've always found it impossible to think of World War II in anything but black and white. Somebody else might be able to, but to me World War II happened in black and white. So I proposed to Jasny that it should be black and white, and he readily agreed, and we shot those scenes in black and white. Which works very well, yes, it works very well in the film. That was 1975 so the real problems with black and white hadn't really started yet. It was still possible. Although "The Wild Party"- "The Wild Party" is 74, and already in Hollywood, there was already problems with black and white. But in Germany the problems hadn't really started. There were labs very much used to developing it, very much running a bath still every day- every night, which had stopped in Hollywood. So I didn't have any problems with 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.

Duration: 1 minute, 22 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008