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Working for Finos


A Matter of Dignity: Working with George Antonakis
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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It was also my first encounter with my good friend George Antonakis, whose doing this filming here today, who became my assistant. Well, first of all he was an electrician working for Finos, and there was an occasion where he literally put his hand in the fire for me, where there was some problem with the electricity, and he had to work at the back of the main studio electric supply board and there wasn't a way of isolating it. There was no main switch. You'd have to go to some telegraph pole some miles away in order to cut the current. So he put on some rubber gloves and he worked there without having the current turned off. So I say he's somebody who put his hand in the fire for me, as he did many times, because that time he did it literally.

And then on that film I had another assistant. I had the same assistant as I had on The Girl in Black who was a Greek from Russia. But on the second film he made some terrible mistake and Cacoyannis went wild and he fired him and he took somebody else. And then from the third film onwards, George became my assistant and he did all the other films as my assistant. And then he became a cameraman and then his son became a cameraman. Been going on for 40 years.

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: George Antonakis

Duration: 1 minute, 20 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008