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The Girl in Black: Getting arrested


The Girl in Black: The cone light
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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For the interiors I unearthed a very old fashioned light which came into... it came into popularity, again, for colour films later, a version of it, because it was called a cone light. And it was a large circular container, hood, as it were, and inside the hood was a 5-kilowatt bulb facing inwards. It had a shield behind it so no direct light came out. The light was thrown into the cone, which was painted white, and then reflected back out. So it's an early form of soft light. And this light I found thrown away, virtually, in a junkyard. There was a studio which had closed down, but which still had certain facilities. We had certain equipment available. But this light had actually been thrown out and I discovered it by accident, lying outside in the landscape somewhere. The studio had been a dancing centre, an entertainment centre, and was in turn a studio and then it stopped altogether. But that light was the principle light source for the interior scenes. It was ideal for the scenes where I wanted to have an interior room with the shutters closed and just a little light filtering through the shutters, creating a soft, virtually sourceless, light. So this cone light was ideally suited to produce that kind of atmosphere, and I added a couple of small spots, like 500 watt spots to it and all the interiors are shot like that, in this one house in Athens which we used for the interiors of the house where the heroine lives in Hydra. We only shot exteriors there, but the interiors we shot in this house in Athens, in the second half of the shoot. The first half was on the island, the second half was, was in Athens.

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: Hydra, Athens

Duration: 1 minute, 52 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008