In May 1973, just after the release of Lindsay Anderson’s O Lucky Man, London University Audio Visual (LUAV) filmed a conversation/interview with Lindsay Anderson and me. O Lucky Man was the focus of the interview, which was part of an LUAV planned series of interviews with leading figures of the time. The results would be kept in a kind of time capsule and would not be released until fifty or a hundred years later. The project was abandoned early on.
Tag Archives: Movies
We are pleased to share Mamoun’s masterclass on Ozu’s masterpiece, Tokyo Story. Mamoun has revisited this film several times, but this most recent visit at the European Film College in Ebeltoft allowed him to discuss the film with the students in detail.
We are pleased to be able to share the conversation about Babylon from the event at Theatre Utopia in December 3rd 2015.
Despite the loud live music that was being played in the same building, the conversation was lively, and covered not just the film but also the issue of positive discrimination and the politics of race in cinema and society.
Mamoun has this to say about the New German Cinema:
It is a mystery how and why a country suddenly finds a distinct cinematic voice and creates a ‘new’ cinema. Political, social and economic factors provide only partial insights. In Europe, the ‘new’ cinema moved from Italy to France, to the UK (culturally colonised by Hollywood, we preferred ‘free’ over ‘new’) to Poland to Czechoslovakia and, in the 70s, to Germany, or, more significantly, West Germany.
The creators of the New German Cinema – Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff , Werner Schröter and Wim Wenders, had diverse styles but collectively they were all radical-left/anarchist. At one end, Fassbinder was hostile to all institutions – and individuals as part of institutions – past and present; at the other end, Herzog focused on individuals whose obsessions, delusions, dreams, fantasies, aspirations made them impossible to assimilate – and led them to destruction.
The question that is rarely addressed is how the filmmakers were supported and financed: public funding from the Länder, the federal government and private sector support from television, film distributors and exhibitors ensured the flowering of the talents of the New German Cinema.
Herzog has to date written and directed 18 features, including epics shot in the Amazon. Fassbinder made 41 films, intimate in scale, in 14 years – 41 ‘personal’ films, while Lindsay Anderson, Tony Richardson and Karel Reisz together made only some 30 feature films in their entire careers. But then our investors didn’t like politics (still don’t) – they followed Sam Goldwyn, who said: ‘If you want to send a message use Western Union’. Commercial viability was (and is) their only criterion. And we know how certain that is…
Mamoun is looking forward to his yearly visit to the European Film College to give two masterclasses on De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves and Ozu’s Tokyo Story However there will be a twist. His discussion will also refer to De Sica’s pre-neorealist film The Children are watching Us (1944). He will explore how De Sica’s craft developed but also how certain inspirations persisted.
Under principal Nadia Kloverdahl Reich the College is developing physically and educationally – with a new building and a new faculty amongst many changes. A happy combination of the old and the new. Mamoun looks forward to working with Micah Magee, the new Directing Fiction teacher.
During Mamoun’s last visit to the European Film College in March, he led two Masterclasses after viewing Bicycle Thieves and Pather Panchali. We are happy to be able to share the introductions that Mamoun gave prior to the screenings. The first is more an introduction to Neo Realist cinema. The second is a welcome return to Sayajit Ray’s Pather Panchali.
Many thanks to Nadia Kløvedal Reich, principal of EFC, and the staff and students at the European Film College.
This week I was asked by Dominic Power, Head of Screen Arts at National Film and Television School (NFTS) to introduce a screening of Bergman’s Persona at the National Film Theatre Southbank, London.
It’s taking a liberty telling an audience how to view a film minutes before seeing it.
I prefer to give them a perspective, often by referring to the director’s other work. I talk primarily about form and style, sometimes about subjects that recur. I try to keep it simple. The film’s the thing.
Here is a recording of the event, montaged with a few slides:
The film was shown as part of the NFTS ‘Passport to Cinema’ season – a continuous and comprehensive overview of every facet of cinema, from its beginnings to the present day.