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A Taste of Honey: An all-location film


The downside of Free Cinema
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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The only down side of Free Cinema which was a big success in its own right, was that it had absolutely no effect on the British... on the mainstream of the British industry whatsoever. And, as history shows, it took several years, several years, before any of those people had made any... any feature films. Lindsay... Lindsay's first film, Our Sporting Life, was in 60 something, '61, '62; '62, I think. And, Tony a little earlier and Karel a little later, I think.

Anyway at the time it had no effect whatsoever, which disappointed us a little bit, although it was... it was inevitable. It was... we could've... we... we should've guessed that it wouldn't have any effect. But it was its own little success in its own little framework, so that was...  that was all right. And eventually it did lead to other things. And it had quite a lot of... quite a lot of attention was focussed on it abroad, so, to this day people talk... come to me and say, you know, you were part of Free Cinema, and would you tell us about it, and so on. I've made endless interviews and documentary things and... about... about Free Cinema.

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: Our Sporting Life, Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, Tony Richardson

Duration: 1 minute, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008