New York International Latino Film Festival July 27-August 1, 2010

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Bienvenido to “The 11th Annual New York International Latino Film Festival”, presented by HBO!  Get out of the hot sun and into a cool theater by supporting international filmmakers who will be showcasing dozens of films at SVA and Chelsea Cinemas from July 27 to August 1st.  While “The Dry Land” starring America Ferrara and Wilmer Valderrama will open the NYILFF this Tuesday, July 27,  films entitled “Accountable” to “Yanindara” and over 100 others in between,  will guarantee something for everyone. 

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“Restrepo”

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Restrepo”:  Interview with Sebastian Junger, Tim Hetherington, and Rachel Reid.

Winner: Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at The Sundance Film Festival 2010.

“The Man Who Will Come”/ (L’Uomo che Verra) Interview with Italian Director: Giorgio Diritti

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

WINNER OF *BEST FILM* and *BEST PRODUCER*  at the 2010  David Di Donatello Awards!

“L’Uomo Che Verra” or “The Man Who WIll Come”, is the second full length feature film by acclaimed Italian director, Giorgio Diritti.  “The Man Who Will Come” is so powerful, beautiful, and well-researched, it is even shot in a rare form of Italian dialect, known as the Bolognese Apennines, which, today, is spoken by very few, all of whom are older than 60 years of age, even the Italian actors had to be taught to speak the dialect. 

Set in a hillside town of Bologna, the capital city of Emilia-Romagna,  in 1944, “The Man Who Will Come”,  accurately depicts the actual tragic murders of 770 civilians by German troops occupying Italy after the fall of Mussolini. Although the film is fictional, yet based on real events, you will be emotionally touched by the character, Martina, an eight year old outcast, who hasn’t spoken a word ever since her newborn brother died.  Poor Martina is confused as to who and why the Germans are wreaking havoc on their small, unsophisticated, rural town, and while trying to make sense of it all, observes human suffering inconceivable to mankind. 

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Paul Allen’s Yacht Party

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Come aboard the “Octopus”, Paul Allen’s superyacht, complete with 2 helicopters, 1 yellow submarine, a screening room, and the most gorgeous people on this planet!   Very, “Bond, James Bond”.     (That is Paul Allen playing the guitar).  

Interview with Mathieu Amalric: Winner of the Best Director Prize at Cannes 2010 For “Tournee”/”On Tour”

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Mathieu Amalric discusses what it was like to direct and star in “Tournee” or “On Tour”, how the idea came about, and what it feels like to have won such a coveted award.  

Brief synopsis of “Tournee”/”On Tour”: “Joachim, a former Parisian television producer had left everything behind, his children, friends, enemies, lovers and regrets to start a new life in America. He returns to France with a team of New Burlesque strip-tease performers whom he has filled with romantic dreams of a tour of France, of Paris!  Traveling from town to town, despite the cheap hotel rooms and lack of money, the curvaceous showgirls invent an extravagant fantasy world of warmth and hedonism that wins an enthusiastic response from men and women alike. Their dream of a tour culminating in a last grand show in Paris goes up in smoke when Joachim is betrayed by an old friend and loses the theater where they were due to perform.”

Q: Sharon Abella: Tell us what it was like to direct and star in the film?

A: Mathieu Amalric: “It was not my idea to star in the film.  Many suggested that I star in the film, but I did not want to. I was looking for another actor. Three weeks before the shooting, the producer, and the Director of Photography, said, ‘you have to star in the film’, but I said, ‘No, I don’t want to. I want to direct.’  However, three weeks before the shooting, I said, ‘I guess I have to do it.’  There was a complexity of fiction, of drama, we were able to institute this from the inside, to make surprises, to make a movie that works. It came together.”

Q: Sharon Abella:  How did the idea come about?

A: Mathieu Amalric: “At the beginning of the film it was very solitary, very small. I read, Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette, the French author, for many years. It was sort of a diary of her life as an actress on tour with musicals, where she would do sort of a naked pantomime. She would describe a sort of freedom, and fatigue and a sense of being a misfit and independent at that moment. She had fallen in love with another woman, and there was a sense of freedom. I was looking for that spirit today in strip tease, and I couldn’t find it. One day, I saw an article about American New Burlesque, and some photographs, and there was an immediate connection. It was as if Collette were still alive today. When one of the women from the American New Burlesque told me that one of their daughters was Collette, something happened. It was very humorous. The girls talk not with words, but with their bodies. Most are trying to find a perfect body type. The fact that these girls don’t have a perfect body type, is interesting in itself. That’s how it started.”

Q: Sharon Abella: Do any of the dancers have formal training?

A: Mathieu Amalric: “They all have very different training.  A few of them studied classical, or  contemporary dance at ‘The Julliard School’.   Dirty Martini, played by Linda Marraccini, and Julie, both come from classical dance training. One girl worked in punk rock before and she learned how to play piano in church. Mimi, comes from San Diego, and works in informatics, and she fell in love with the 1950’s.  They all have different stories, but they are all incredibly professional.  For instance, before doing a show, they have to warm up. The warm up is quite impressive. They really prepare themselves like artists, like dance artists. Then they can have fun. They are very professional, and are very precise with their props.”

Q: Sharon Abella: Talk about the strong personalities of the American Burlesque dancers.  They didn’t seem to want a man controlling where they performed and how much they got paid. 

Quotes from film: “We make a show for women, we make our own numbers, men no longer control it, we entertain the masses, it’s like playing dress up.”

A: Mathieu Amalric: “I didn’t know that new burlesque existed before. I was looking for something that could resonate well. I wanted a sort of tension between the manager and independent women. At the beginning of the film, the tour manager character, Joachim, played by me, didn’t even look at the dancers, he was more worried if the young girl would be able to take off her bra. At the same time, by the end of the film, the women sort of adopted and accepted Joachim, and the fact that he is part of the tour. They accept the fact that a man is watching their work.”

Q: Sharon Abella: The tour manager appears as a genuinely nice guy, but seems misunderstood. Do you agree? Talk about Joachim.

A: Mathieu Amalric: “I think that the girls finally accept him, they begin to see that he has a heart, that he is honest with them, and they begin to believe in him. When you see Joachim struggling in Paris to find a theater where they can perform. He takes risks, confronts his enemies, and shows a love for the woman in the hospital.  The women must feel that, even if they aren’t aware of it. They must feel that he has difficulties. They must feel that their spirit has contaminated him a little.  At the end of the film, Mimi says, “You can sit now”, “Relax”. 

Q: Sharon Abella: The challenges you faced making the film.

A: Mathieu Amalric: “It was like paradise to shoot this film. We had women producers, Laetitia Gonzalez, and Yael Fogiel, and we did a real tour. We shot in the hotels where the girls were really living. A complicity happened. This is fiction, and not to be confused with a documentary. I fell in love with these women immediately, and wanted to film their real lives, but ultimately, had to return to the script.  We wrote a lot.  I would wake up very early in the morning, to be certain that the scenes were written about characters in action and not their real life personalities.  This was a big challenge. It’s strange, but a perfect script is a script that you have to hide when you shoot. That you don’t feel when you see the film, that is hidden. That was a big challenge. I wanted the information to be discovered in the present.  I wanted it to be a surprise. Oh, he wasn’t a tv producer, oh, he has children. Like the audience watching, I wanted it to be a surprise. This was actually a lot of work.”

Q: Sharon Abella: What does winning the best director prize at Cannes 2010 mean for you?

A: Mathieu Amalric: “It’s the most beautiful present. It’s as if the most intimate present had been given to me, because it tells something about how I fell in love with this project. I just wanted to direct films, working as an actor, was something others saw in me,  I wasn’t aware of it. I worked as an assistant director, assistant editor, props, all those jobs, and that’s why the stage was like coming back home, it’s sort of a natural place on a set. It was very moving for all of us. That’s why I wanted the women to come with me on stage, and if the crew had been there also. Directing, is very solitary, but at certain moments, you don’t know who is directing the film, ideas come from everywhere, from the editing, from the props man, from the actors. Directing it’s sort of being a film star that can combine all of the roles together.”

Q: Sharon Abella: You have joined the long list of acclaimed directors at Cannes. How does that feel?

A: Mathieu Amalric: “It is very exciting, but also very scary, because it’s like if it was a little death. Before, I was never thinking what would be the next film, you just film what you have in mind, and now you are afraid, but what can I do now. I am going to try not to feel pressured.”

Javier Bardem and Alejandro Gonzelez Inarritu/ “Biutiful” at Cannes 2010 (Article in English and Spanish)

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Biutiful”

Move over Jeff Bridges, here comes Javier Bardem’s jaw dropping performance as a father/husband, who is involved in a life of corruption and dis-ease, is diagnosed with cancer and given a limited time to get his affairs in order, yet continues to demonstrate strength as he continues on with his responsibilities of daily life. From the director of “Babel’, and “Amores Perros”, “Biutiful”, offers terrific acting, cinematography, and music in a noir drama, about the realistic, depressing side of life.

Q:  To Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu: How was it writing and directing your first screenplay?

A: AGI: “In my past experiences, my writing process has been very successful. It was a very creative, fresh, collaborative process. “

Q: To Javier Bardem:  How was it working with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu?

A: JB: ”Like the movie, intense, but very rewarding in the sense, of going to places where an actor has to grow up. Alejandro is one of the best director’s of all time, and as a performer, you know you will always be protected by him.  He knows how to take very good care of the subtleties of the performance.  So, I knew from the first time behind the camera, I knew that all the actors knew what they were doing here.

Q: To Alejandro Gonazelez Inarritu:

“In ‘Babel’, you go to many places and tell many stories within many different cultures,  whereas, in “Biutiful”, you choose one city, one main character and one culture.  What happened?

A: AGI: “ I was exhausted after globetrotting around the world, I promised myself that I would be doing one guy, one point of view, one neighborhood, and no more Japanese, Moroccan, English, I wanted my own language.   I did it. It was not easier than the other film. It was a difficult process, and a heavy film, but it was an amazing exercise for me.  I want to go into the linear, the rigor and the discipline that a linear story tells.   It was another chapter for me.  “Biutiful” was everything I haven’t done before in a way, but in a strange way it is exactly the same, same things that upset me, same shadow that I project. I think the difference here is that before I told very complex stories, while in “Biutiful”, there is a very simple storyline.  Trying to capture a very simple way of telling a very complicated story.”

Q: To Javier Bardem:  How did you prepare to play Uxbal?

A:  JB: “In my opinion, this movie is different for everyone, everyone has a very different opinion about it. My proposal as an actor was to really do the portrait of somebody that is surrounded by exploitation and corruption.  Everybody in this movie has a relation with exploitation and corruption, and how that creates disease in society, and within himself.  I guess for a person who is really driven by that need of trying to survive in that world.  What I wanted to do, was to portray somebody who doesn’t want to lose their last breath of health. Before he dies, he has to put himself together and heal himself, by life, by having compassion., towards his kids, his wife, towards his brother, towards the immigrants. But the circumstances in the outside world are against them.  He had one need, but the world has something else in store for you. So that’s probably what it means to portray him, and of course that idea came from hope.”

A: AGI: “When the script was in an early stage, my theory was less is more. With dialogue, I thought less is more. Sometimes films are made where you understand everything immediately, that same moment you are watching the film, and you never ask. In this film, there is an incompletion, in order for people to feel for Uxbal, and by taking out and just holding things, emotional things. Javier is an actor, one of the greatest actors where minimal things mean a lot. The understanding of these events requires a lot of talent, precision, commitment to excellence, trusting the material, trusting the audience.  At the same time, the complexity of this character is what since the beginning the fact that there are several lines that he might lose, a map that guides him. One line that goes inside, into the spirit of life to find the question of death bothers him, to put thing in order. That clash of warm and cold water simultaneously, is very complicated role to play.  It was a very demanding role. I never saw somebody with so much investment in a character.”

Q:  Talk about the darkness, yet flashes of hope within the film.

A:  AGI: “The film is full of flashes of hope. Even in the Greek tradition of tragedy, there is a character that is trying to survive, to do things better.  He is trying to navigate against the will of God.  I think the guy is full of life, he gives himself, trying to put his life together by helping people, by helping the people that brings love to his children. He is a very humble man, a very simple man, and life is like that. Everything that he inspired to was very loving, and there’s a lot of forgiveness. Which I think is a key word to what we are missing in this world, because I think that the big disease is not AIDS, not anthrax or terrorism, but the illness that is killing us is hate.  He represented the opposite. Uxbal represented tenderness, compassion, and forgiveness, to himself first, and to everybody.  I think I found that very hopeful in my view of it.  There are questions at the end that everybody will have to answer.  I found that this is the most hopeful of all my films by far. “

Q; To AGI: Talk about the cinematography.

A: AGI: “The camera was used to enhance the journey and the point of view of the characters, to help the audience to navigate to the emotional source. All the elements were supporting that. Javier and I envisioned this character as a tight, control freak, a person which is shaking and vulnerable. Little by little, once he began to learn about what will happen, he began to learn to give up the control, to arrive to another level of understanding.  In the last twenty minutes of the film, you are in an apartment, there is no way out. It is quiet, silent.  His camera, format, lighting wise, everything, this is probably Rodrigo Prieto’s best work by far. We are very proud of his work.”

A: JB: “The goal for any actor is to work with people that inspire you. In Latin America, they have amazing directors, and AGI is one of them.”

_______IN SPANISH______

Javier Bardem y Alejandro González Iñárritu / “Biutiful” en Cannes 2010

“Biutiful”

¡Muévete, Jeff Bridges! Porque aquí viene la interpretación que hace caer mandíbulas de Javier Bardem como un padre y esposo involucrado en una vida de corrupción y enfermedad, diagnosticado con cáncer y enfrentado con un tiempo límite para poner todos sus asuntos en orden, pero que aún continúa demostrando fuerza mientras continúa con las responsabilidades de su vida cotidiana.

Del director de “Babel”, y “Amores Perros”, “Biutiful” ofrece estupendas actuaciones, cinematografía y música en un drama de corte ‘noir’ sobre el lado realista y deprimente de la vida.
P: A Alejandro González Iñárritu: ¿Cómo fue escribir y dirigir tu primer guión cinematográfico?

R: AGI: “En mis pasadas experiencias, mi proceso de escritura había sido bastante exitoso. En esta ocasión, fue un proceso creativo, fresco y colaborativo”.
P: A Javier Bardem: ¿Cómo fue trabajar con Alejandro González Iñárritu?

R: JB: “Como la película, intenso, pero bastante satisfactorio en el sentido de ir a lugares a donde un actor debe ir para crecer. Alejandro es uno de los mejores directores de todos los tiempos, y como intérprete, sabes que siempre vas a estar protegido por él. Él sabe cómo cuidar muy bien las sutilezas de la actuación. Así que, yo supe desde la primera vez que lo vi detrás de la cámara, que todos los actores sabían qué era lo que estaban haciendo en el set”.

P: A Alejandro González Iñárritu: “En ‘Babel’, vas a muchos lugares y cuentas muchas historias dentro de varias culturas diferentes, mientras que en ‘Biutiful’ escoges una sola ciudad, un personaje principal y una cultura. ¿Qué pasó?”

R: AGI: “Estaba exhausto después de darle la vuelta al mundo. Me prometí a mi mismo que iba a hacer algo con un hombre, un punto de vista, un vecindario y no más japonés, marroquí o inglés. Quería mi propia lengua y lo hice. No fue más fácil que hacer la otra película. Fue un proceso difícil, y un filme pesado, pero fue un ejercicio increíble para mí. Quería ir hacia el rigor y la disciplina que una historia lineal cuenta. Fue otro capítulo para mí. ‘Biutiful’ fue todo lo que no había hecho antes de cierta forma, pero en otra bastante extraña es exactamente lo mismo, las mismas cosas que me molestan, la misma sombra que proyecto. Creo que la diferencia aquí es que antes conté historias bien complejas, mientras que en ‘Biutiful’ hay una historia simple. Tratar de capturar una manera sencilla de narrar una historia muy complicada”.

P: A Javier Bardem: ¿Cómo te preparaste para encarnar a ‘Uxbal’?

R: JB: “En mi opinión, esta película es diferente para todos, cada persona tiene una opinión diferente sobre ella. Mi propuesta como actor fue retratar a alguien que está rodeado por la explotación y la corrupción. Todos en esta cinta tienen una relación con la explotación y la corrupción, y cómo eso crea una enfermedad en la sociedad y dentro de uno mismo. Supongo que para una persona que está realmente motivada por la necesidad de tratar de sobrevivir en ese mundo. Lo que quise hacer fue plasmar a alguien que no quiere perder su último aliento de salud. Antes de que fallezca, tiene que recomponerse y sanarse a sí mismo, por la vida, y mediante la compasión hacia sus hijos, su esposa, su hermano y hacia los inmigrantes. Pero las circunstancias en el mundo exterior están en su contra. Él tenía una necesidad, pero el mundo tiene algo diferente reservado para ti. Así que probablemente eso es lo que significa interpretar a Uxbal, y por supuesto, esa idea provino de la esperanza”.

R: AGI: “Cuando el libreto estaba en una etapa temprana, mi teoría era que menos es más. Con el diálogo, pensé que menos era más. A veces las películas están hechas para que entiendas todo inmediatamente, en ese mismo momento en que estás viendo el filme, y tú nunca te haces preguntas. En esta cinta hay un elemento incompleto, con la finalidad de que la gente sienta empatía con Uxbal, al extraer y sostener cosas, cosas emocionales. Javier es un actor, uno de los mejores actores, para quien lo minimalista significa mucho. La comprensión de estos eventos requiere de un gran talento, precisión, compromiso a la excelencia, confianza con el material y confianza con la audiencia. Al mismo tiempo, la complejidad de este personaje tiene que ver desde el principio con el hecho de que hay muchas líneas que puede perder en el mapa que lo guía. Una línea que va hacia lo profundo, dentro del espíritu de la vida para encontrar la incógnita de la muerte que tanto le preocupa, y poner eso en orden. Ese choque entre el agua caliente y la fría simultáneamente, es un rol bastante complicado de representar. Fue un papel muy exigente. Nunca vi a alguien que invirtiera tanto en un personaje”.

P: A AGI: Cuéntanos sobre la oscuridad, y sin embargo, los destellos de esperanza dentro del filme.

R: AGI: “La película está repleta de destellos de esperanza. Aún en la tradición griega de la tragedia, siempre hay un personaje que está tratando de sobrevivir y de hacer las cosas mejor. Está tratando de navegar contra la corriente de Dios. Yo creo que este hombre está lleno de vida, y se llena de esperanza al tratar de rehacer su vida ayudando a la gente, ayudando a las personas que le brindan amor a sus hijos. Es un hombre muy humilde, un hombre bastante simple, y la vida es así. Todo lo que lo inspiraba era amoroso, y hay mucho perdón, que creo es una palabra clave para darnos cuenta de lo que hace falta en este mundo, porque pienso que la mayor enfermedad no es el SIDA, ni el ántrax o el terrorismo, sino que el mal que nos está matando es el odio. Él representaba lo opuesto. Uxbal simbolizaba la ternura, compasión y el perdón, primero hacia sí mismo y luego hacia todos los demás. Creo que, en mi opinión, encontré que eso era muy esperanzador. Hay preguntas que todos van a tener que responder al final. Y descubrí que esta es la película más esperanzadora de todas las que he hecho hasta ahora”.

P: A AGI: Háblanos acerca de la cinematografía.

R: AGI: “La cámara fue usada para mejorar el viaje y el punto de vista de los personajes, para ayudar a la audiencia a navegar en la fuente emocional. Todos los elementos apoyaban eso. Javier y yo nos imaginamos a este personaje como alguien riguroso, un fanático del control, una persona que está temblando y es vulnerable. Poco a poco, una vez que él empezó a enterarse acerca de lo que iba a pasar, comenzó a aprender a ceder el control, a llegar a otro nivel de entendimiento. En los últimos veinte minutos de la película, estás en un apartamento en donde no hay salida. Está bastante callado, silencioso. Su cámara, el formato y el estilo de iluminación, todo, lo representa. Este es, probablemente, el mejor trabajo de Rodrigo Prieto hasta ahora. Estamos muy orgullosos de su labor”.

R: JB: “La meta para cualquier actor es trabajar con personas que te inspiren. En Latinoamérica, tienen directores maravillosos, y Alejandro González Iñárritu es uno de ellos”.

Spanish translation by Neyli Carvajal.

“Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff”, Interview with Director Craig McCall

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, might be more aptly titled, “Painter, Photographer, Inventor, Explorer, Cameraman, and Director: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff.”  There haven’t been many whose obituary reads, born in 1918, entered the industry as a child movie actor at the age of four, studied impressionist painters, was one of the first to use color in film, commenting that “color is light, and light is color”, was the first to have to scout remote movie locations in a time period when many had never even left their hometown, had a love of women, and had worked side by side with Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas, Sophia Loren, as well as directors, Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston, however, Jack Cardiff’s did. Martin Scorsese recently introduced the movie, “Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff,” directed by Craig McCall at the British Film Institute, last week, describing Jack as “one of the last pioneers of movie-making and one of the first artists that gave us color. He was able to create images of beauty and heart-stopping dynamism. Once seen, never forgotten images are loved, they will never fade.” On May 16th, 2010, at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, Thierry Fremaux introduced the director of “Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff”, Craig McCall.

Interview with Craig McCall

Sharon Abella: Speak about how Jack Cardiff applied his love of art, painting, and color, towards his work as a cameraman.

Craig McCall: “Well, I think what is interesting about Jack, as is stated in the movie, was that Jack was very intuitive. He died last year at 94 years old, he grew up during the 1920’s in Britain. There was no social structure, his parents were vaudevillian, and he went to 300 schools. The first thing that really engaged him outside the bubble of vaudevillian world, was art. Why I am attracted to Jack? I don’t  think there is anything wrong with the classical formal art education, but I did not have one, and I think I was attracted to Jack because, I wanted to make this an inclusive film, something that draws you in. There’s nothing more off putting than someone lecturing you on Caravaggio or Turner. I do not mean any disrespect to any Ivy League professors, Jack is a vehicle to inspire people. When you see him standing in front of the Turner painting in The National Gallery, this is someone whose films you have seen, therefore you are several steps closer to him, and several steps closer to being inspired. That’s why I think Jack is a fantastic person. He also proves it by copying great painters, Boucher, Fragonard. Because my film does not have voiceovers, you just cut to his work. So, you see, there he copied a Boucher, there he copied a Fragonard, a Monet, a Cezanne.  It’s very refreshing to hear someone say, “I wanted to copy.” That’s what I think is brilliant about him, and then applied it into his cinematography.”

Sharon Abella: Q: How does his use of brush strokes get applied to his cinematography?

A: Craig McCall: “I think there are two sides. There’s using words to kind of describe taking color ideas from Van Gogh, or lighting ideas from Turner, which are always constricting. That’s why I thought a visual documentary was a very good vehicle. So when Jack started to place them in stories, I think they got heightened. When they use technicolor in Britain in the late 40’s, it really stood out. The idea of doing small, intimate stories using technicolor was very unsual. In the States predominantly the studios were only given an extra 30% to do Westerns, outdoor pictures or musicals. They didn’t see any justification of making any intimate detailed stories at that time in color. It’s hard to understand now, but when you are watching “Black Narcissus”, which Jack worked on with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, where Jack won an Oscar for in 1947,  a story in color, about nuns going insane in Himalayas, the reason why people are so impressed, and the reason it kind of exploded in the States, and the reason why his name was so well known, was because he was using color in a very different way. The American cinematographers were being corralled into shooting in a different format.  Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger said, “we’ll use color as another element of telling these stories.”

Q: Talk about his innovative ways of making a gray sky turn blue.

A: Jack literally would do what’s known as map painting with glass filters. If a sky was gray, Jack would suggest to directors, “I will paint it in”.  Rather than saying, “it’s a gray sky, we can’t shoot”, there was no recourse to CGI. Instead of waiting three days for a  blue sky, or going to a studio, he would just paint it. So whether it was in England, where he would create the effect by breathing on the lens to create fog, and as his breath evaporated on the lens, or in the big studios when he was doing “War and Peace”, you are shooting with Dino Delaurentis and Carla Ponte, he would  just paint in sky for a duel scene with Henry Fonda, but it was set in Russia. Jack worked like a kid with a big toy box. Of course there was a very serious side to him technically, but I think why a lot of directors are attracted to him was because he was fast, but also because he kept bringing artistic ingenuity into practical situations.”

Q: Was this for budget reasons or just because he was being creative, or a little bit of both?

A: “A little bit of both. He pulled it off.”

Q: Thelma Schoonmaker had said that the budget for most films made back then was what she called, “coffee money on both movie sets these days”, and the result was an amazing film made with a low budget.

A: “They had to be very inventive. Time was always pressing. I don’t think the time aspect has ever changed. Time was always pressing with actors/actresses on set. Even when he was a camera operator working with Marlena Dietrich, he was learning things of other American cinematographers, and Jack learned a lot from American cinematographers. He had a huge debt of gratitude to American cinematographers that he worked under like Harry Stradling, Ray Hanrahan. These were all big Oscar winning directors of photography.”

Q: Talk about Jack being ahead of his time location scouting and traveling to the most remote locations, such as the Congo for “African Queen”. A time period when most hadn’t left their own country.

A:  “The key was when technicolor decided to break out into the world outside the United States, they put a studio in London, and one in Italy. They needed technicians, they couldn’t keep sending American technicians, so they needed home grown technicians to start teaching. Technicolor wasn’t all in one system. It was the film, it was the camera, it was the processing, and it was the final print. It seems that was the whole deal until 1955.  Jack was given the key to that by being the trainee because of his art history background. That meant that he started shooting some of the first films that people would see back home. Little travel logs in India or the Middle East. You have to remember when you went to the cinema in 1936, most people hadn’t been outside of their country. Despite the Second World War, where a lot of people went off and fought, and traveled, at that time, to even see Rome in color, to see Paris in color, was extraordinary. ”

Q: Talk about his diversity, as a photographer, cameraman, director.

A: “The actual inclination, the knee jerk is to say, well cameramen are all interested in photography. Jack always, always watching the actors. I think he kept that quiet. I think with certain directors, he said it to Richard Fleiscel, when he was doing “The Vikings”, he was very good friends with him and trusted him, and said, “Actually, I really do love acting.” In regards to photography, Jack just wouldn’t stop.  He was fascinated by images. He would take actresses off the set. Audrey Hepburn, on “War and Peace, Marilyn Monroe, with “Prince of the Showgirl”, he was very clever, he became like “The Greatest Liutenant. I think thats why the producers and directors liked him. American studios liked him because he did a lot more than shoot beautiful films. He gave confidence to lead actresses. The result of that, when you look back, actress portraits, his paintings, and his drawings, when you look back I’ve got sketches of Marlena Dietrich, and ends with photographs in the 70s.  He started off as a child actor in 1918, performing in film in the silent era, and ending in his 90’s. There aren’t many who worked in the film industry at his level.”

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