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Working in the days before handheld synch cameras


Free Cinema: Showing foreign films
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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Free cinema, in the meantime, had two other showings where the centrepiece was not necessarily a British film at all. There was Lionel Rogosin's On the Bowery. Lionel Rogosin was one of those people that was working with similar ideas and with similar aims, quite independently from us, as were the... the beginnings of the free... of the New Wave in France, also had similar ideas and worked in a similar kind of way. But we were not influencing one another. We knew about one another, but it was... it happened simultaneously, so you couldn't... you couldn't talk about influence in any... in any real sense, because it was all happening simultaneously. But if people come... have the same kind of outlook and the same mentality... same idea, be they in France, America or England, they end up making the same kind of film. And it looks as though one might have influenced the other, but it wasn't actually so. They... they happened simultaneously. So there were... there was... Free Cinema Two and Free Cinema Four were... were foreign- there were some foreign films and it... it wasn't particularly British, and then the... the showpiece of cinema... Free Cinema Six, the last Free Cinema, was We are the Lambeth Boys, which is the film I made with... with Karel Reisz.

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: showings, aims, New Wave, influence

Duration: 1 minute, 16 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008