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Ivo: The shooting


Ivo: The story
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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That same year I made a second film with Vojtech called Ivo, or in German it was called, An Attempt to Escape, Fluchtversuch. And it was made in Austria and Yugoslavia, Slovenia. It was much more of a flawed film than The Clown, which was pretty much all of a piece. But Ivo had problems. It was sponsored by Austrian... money from Austria and also the production... a lady called Pia Arnold who was, by profession, a production manager, had managed some quite expensive American productions on location in Germany, she was the producer of that film.

There were quite a few problems. The first problem was that the cast was a mixture of Yugoslavs who were used to a very naturalistic tradition of acting, and Austrians who were the complete opposite. Who were from the Burgtheater and they all thought they were Sarah Bernhardt, so the postman talking to the landlady, said something, 'I think you have a letter today, madam', you know, that sort of thing. And Vojtech, not being a native German speaker, that didn't grate on him to the extent that it grated on me, but basically it was a problem that you couldn't... you could mitigate against, but you couldn't avoid, entirely avoid. That was an ongoing problem right through the film.

Now, the story is about a group... a family of guest workers, so-called guest workers from Yugoslavia, who are working in Vienna. And there is a father and a brother and the young son, who is keeping house for them, and the mother stayed back in Yugoslavia. So there's this household of three or four, with the son keeping house for them, and they go off to work every day and he's at home getting harassed by the landlady and the neighbours, and God knows what. So he's very unhappy and just before Christmas he decides he wants to go back to Yugoslavia, and he just takes off and he hitchhikes his way back to Yugoslavia, along a road that is famous for the number of accidents along there. It's the road going from Vienna to... through Graz into Yugoslavia, into Lubliana.

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: Ivo, An Attempt to Escape, The Clown, Vojtech Jasny, Pia Arnold, Yugoslavia

Duration: 2 minutes, 24 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008