Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gianfranco Parolini on Serge Gainsbourg

Gianfranco Parolini: Serge Gainsbourg was someone I liked very much. I was given him by the French co-producer, a certain De Nesle who owned "Le Comptoir Francais du Film Production". And he came to do the films (SAMSON and FURY OF HERCULES). He thought he was God Almighty and one day he indulged himself by lighting a cigarette with a Yugoslavian dinar. They arrested him! I went through hell to get him out of jail! And tomorrow... it will be Samson's turn. He didn't realize what he'd done. This is... a kind of indication of the man's character. The rest went okay, nothing out of the ordinary.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gemma on making Westerns

Giuliano Gemma: UNA PISTOLA PER RINGO (A PISTOL FOR RINGO) cost 115 milion lire it seems to me, and Ferroni's PER POCHI DOLLARI ANCORA (FORT YUMA GOLD) 195 million, a film that then went on to make three billion. So, Westerns were doing colossal business, especially if you consider that tickets still cost just 500 lire in those days. PER POCHI DOLLARI ANCORA was shot in twenty-eight days. One would leave Rome at five in the morning, and be on location at Manzara, all made up and ready to film at seven because it was winter, and the light wasn't any good by three in the afternoon. I think it was the first film for Turchetto and Montanari, the producers. I believe one of them had been an accountant at a firm, and the other one a lawyer. They'd already had dealings with film, though not as producers, and they're among the few from that period still involved in production. I've never worked with them again. I didn't like them at all. They'd show up on the set, look all around, rap you on the head, as if to say " My God, what are you doing?!" They didn't understand a thing, they just flapped their jaws. They wanted to teach me how to shoot a pistol! And, when I asked them if they knew how to shoot a gun, they responded no, they didn't. They believed so little in that film that it's been claimed they were the first people out the exit, and that later they had to eat their words.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sergio Leone's DP

by Nighteagle

Tonino delli Colli: Leone used to shoot a humongous amount of film. He would shoot a scene from different angles, using different lenses. The magic was done then during the editing phase. There, and only there, he selected what he really liked.Editing lasted much longer than shooting the movie. In ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA we shot 300.000 meters of film.The editing took 6 months! THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY was finished at 5 o´clock in the early morning of the day when its first grand showing was scheduled. The distributors from all over Italy had flown into Rome to try to get copies! And what a memory Leone had! Sitting with Baragli in the cutting room, he remembered each and every take, every detail.... for example in one take, there was a piece of paper on the ground at about 50 meters distance from the camera, he remembered that and discarded that scene. I told him..Sergio, nobody sees it! And he: ..don´t care, I know that the paper is there! He was a maniac of precision, indefatigable, suffocating sometimes with his excess of attention to the particular... but in the end , you see the results, he was right! One other example: he was sitting high in the air on the chapman while shooting one scene with a crowd in ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA. Suddenly he starts shouting, pointing at a person in the far distance:...get him out of here, this idiot,...he looked into the camera!! This was Sergio, demanding but unforgiving with himself ,too. He was at the set location BEFORE everybody else. In ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, he was on the set a 7 o´clock in the morning, when the drivers were scheduled for 7.30. He started complaining, walking restlessly up and down...where are the drivers? He lived inside his own world and assumed that everyone else would perceive his world view, even without verbal communication.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Robin Hood Was A Commie!

From HOLLYWOOD EXILE or how I learned to love the blacklist
A Memoir by Bernard Gordon

"The conditions controlling the blacklist in television were not precisely the same as at the film studios. Because in those days so much television programming was produced by smaller independent venture operators and was not concentrated in the hands of a few major studios, it was easier to slip in, find producers who wanted good work done cheaply. Such people felt less vulnerable to the proliferating pressure groups that, with publications like Red Channels, made it their business to expose any blacklisted writers who might be working, or, for that matter, to expose anyone they considered left-wing, whether Communist or not. With writers working at home and having no contact with studios, it was easier to conceal identities by using people who for reasons of principle, friendship, or money were willing to act as fronts for the real writers. Increasingly, this did occur. My friends Alfred and Helen Levitt worked quite steadily under the aegis of their good friend Jerry Davis, who took credit as both writer and producer of many shows. This was true even more so in New York, where the media was more scattered than in our company town. Writers like Abe Polonsky, Walter Bernstein, Ring Lardner Jr., Ian Hunter, and others eventually began to work quite regularly. Interestingly too, after a time a very progressive woman with access to funds, Hannah Weinstein, started a serious studio operation in London where she produced the successful Robin Hood series exclusively using blacklisted writers, many of them the same writers who had been working in New York."

Hannah Weinstein was born on June 23, 1911 in New York City and has no credits before The Adventures of Robin Hood in 1955. The success of that show led her to also executive produce
Colonel March of Scotland Yard with Boris Karloff,
Sword of Freedom with Edmund Purdom,
The Adventures of Sir Lancelot with William Russell,
The Buccaneers with Robert Shaw,
and The Four Just Men with Dan Dailey.
After the conclusion of Robin Hood in 1960, she posted no known credits until 1974, when she produced CLAUDINE with Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones. Her last two credits were for the Richard Pryor movies GREASED LIGHTNING and STIR CRAZY.
But she also produced daughter Paula Weinstein, who has produced dozens of movies including THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS, CITIZEN COHN (for HBO), THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS, TRUMAN (for TNT), LIBERTY HEIGHTS, SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT, THE PERFECT STORM, BLOOD DIAMOND and RECOUNT (for HBO).
Hannah Weinstein died on March 9, 1984

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Parolini's Sword and Sandal career

Gianfranco Parolini: I finished GOLIATH AND THE GIANTS and the producer was very pleased, because it made money too, with Brad Harris in an early role. Brad Harris hated Malatesta because he'd caused him to break a leg. When I met him, his leg was all plastered up. Malatesta made him do stuff he shouldn't have been doing. He had his leg in plaster and I said "Brad Harris ? Nice to meet you,I'm Gianfranco Parolini." (I wasn't Frank Kramer yet). From that day on we became great frlends, as close as brothers. I helped hlm finish the film with his leg in plaster and no one noticed on screen. So, practically... We're still friends today. Long live friendship! He had a face that easily... took on the hieratic characteristics of the period. He was very well suited to those kind of historical roles. With a beard he was perfect. If he had horns, he'd look like a buffalo !
Since the producer and distributor had discovered... someone who saved time, respected the budget and didn't overspend, they said: "Why not make two (movies) together ? The renters want it." So then I made SAMSON and THE FURY OF HERCULES at the same time! Right after these two films, I made THE OLD TESTAMENT. Jewish architecture on one side, Roman on the other! And 79 A.D., or THE DESTRUCTION OF HERCULANEUM. A thousand people in armour went past the camera. They took off their helmets and put on turbans... Reverse shot Jerusalem! I used the same extras.
I drink to the health of the victor and the glory of the vanquished!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dollhouse #10 "Haunted"

Another fine episode taking the premise of the show in a surprisingly different direction.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Goodbye Jack Cardiff

Most celebrated as a Director of Photography for directors Michael Powell on BLACK NARCISSUS and THE RED SHOES, Alfred Hitchcock on UNDER CAPRICORN, John Huston on THE AFRICAN QUEEN, Laurence Olivier on THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL and Gabriel Pascal on CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA, Cardiff also had 15 credits as a director. THE LONG SHIPS was a big favorite of mine as a kid, but DARK OF THE SUN, aka THE MERCENARIES, was a big favorite of mine as a teenager. After making an horror film in 1974 on which Brad Harris was an associate producer - THE MUTATIONS, aka FREAKMAKER, he never directed again - returning to the role of cinematographer. He died at the age of 94 after a long and accomplished career - but he'll always be important to me as the guy who moved me to want to kill and then to question the impulse in DARK OF THE SUN.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lou Castel on other actors

From A Conversation with Lou Castel by David Pellecuer translated by Aïcha Bahcelioglu

DP: Did you talk with your acting collaborators — such as Gian Maria Volonté, Jean-Pierre Léaud or Klaus Kinski — about these acting questions?

LC: Never! I had a clash with Volonté at the end of Quien sabe? (A Bullet for the General, Damiano Damiani, 1966).
With Léaud, too, because there was a tremendous tension. The way he cuts himself off, I think it spreads violence around. It's not necessary to go that far in order to act well. Volonté and I had a clash while rehearsing the last scene of Quien sabe? I was walking on tables, taking liberties with the text when saying my lines. He said, “This is not exactly the text”, and I got upset. He demanded a method a bit closer to theatre. It wasn't much, really, but it's true that things don't go any smoother after a clash. I met him later, when I was expelled from Italy because of my political opinions. He came to give his support, it was just before I took the plane to Sweden. He insisted on saying that he was for the Communist party, while I was far-left.
He also refused to go to Cannes in 1972, in sympathy with Pierre Clémenti who was in prison, and with me who'd been expelled — and yet he had two pictures in the Festival. Such convictions go beyond arguments between actors, and deserve respect.

DP: What about Kinski?

LC: I think we had a mutual, unspoken fellow-feeling, but never a real conversation. And I never talked about work with Clémenti, either. I think it's an aspect of our isolation. It's within the framework of a film that our social relations took place.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Duccio Tessari on Sergio Leone

Duccio Tessari: The big difference between Sergio and I lies in the fact that he truly believes in "it", and I don't. At the moment he's shooting a Western he believes in the gut-rending passions of his - and this is his greatest strength. Whereas I am always a director with specific cultural roots, European all the way! I inevitably see the Western epoch from a European perspective... Let's add to that the sort of thing one reads about in the histories of the actual events in the West, like the famous shoot out at the OK corral, which turns out to have been fought for a minute and twenty seconds, with a total of ninety eight shots between two gangs standing less than five meters away from each other. And only one person was injured! All this cannot but make me laugh. And so, if I have to tell a story set in that period I don't take it seriously, whereas Sergio takes it and tells it seriously.
Ultimately, he's right, because his results have been truly extraordinary.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Leone on Gian Maria Volonte

Sergio Leone: Volonte is a great character actor who got bumped up to protagonist, a bit what happened, years later, with (Giancarlo) Giannini. An idea of mine that I think fundamentally shaped his role was to have the character sniff Cocaine. The idea came to me on the set. It gave him some definition, gave (his extroversion) a more precise justification. I invented the character-actor protagonist like Bronson, or Volonte himself. I chose actors like Eastwood and Van Cleef for the lead roles because of the exciting possibilities they presented, because they were minor players in American films who were much more important than the heroes themselves. The protagonist was more blandly superficial, whereas the character actor had a lot more depth. The only experiment the Americans ever tried in this direction - elevating a character actor to leading man - was Richard Widmark.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The director of DAYS OF VENGEANCE

Florestano Vancini: I too made a Western, I LUNGHI GIORNI DELLA VENDETTA (DAYS OF VENGEACE). Except that I didn't really make it. I mean I made a technical sense, but I'm not responsible as an auteur or anything. It was a professional chore I was asked to do, and I did it. I didn't sign it with my own name, but with the pseudonym Stan Vance. Not because I wanted to hide my role - even if there are so many of us in the Italian Cinema, everyone of us knows what everyone else is doing at any given moment, or nearly always. No, I signed it that way, because a pseudonym was a way of saying: "I don't feel responsible for this. I'm not the auteur. Its just a confection to which I've lent the utmost of my professional abilities." In fact I didn't know a thing about the film. I read the script on my way to Spain a couple days before shooting began. In short, it was play. I'd done a film, LE STAGIONI DEL NOSTRO AMORE (SEASONS OF OUR LOVE) together with a friend, against everybody's advice, refusing to bow under to compromises, preferring the total risk. The risk was revealed to be so heavy, that subsequently I was obliged to run for cover, and so I made this one.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pier Paolo Pasolini acting in a Western.

Nino Crisman: Carlo Lizzani directed REQUIESCANT. Pasolini appeared in the role of the pistolero priest. Acting amused him tremendously. He honed the timing of the lines. It seemed he'd always been an actor. In his dealings with Lizzani, he had an attitude of great respect, and vice versa. Even so, Pasolini was definitely more respectful and obsequious towards Lizzani than the reverse.

No Dollhouse tonight...

but next week's episode will air at 9pm following Prison Break.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Corbucci on Musante and Palance

Sergio Corbucci: When Tony Musante signed on for the film, he was a still a minor actor. He'd done something for television that had gone very well, but he'd never tried cinema, and in fact he brought with him the anxieties typical of all actors who have come out of the school of acting of Strasberg. If I told him to go out of frame in one shot, or to return into frame in another, or just to sit on the ground, it was a drama, because he had the tic of "motivation", and he'd begin to ask me: "Why am I doing this? What am I feeling?", and then he'd want an hour to prepare, to concentrate!
Musante's of Italian ancestry. Jack Palance, instead, is of Russian heritage, and like all Russians he was very nice. He spoke four languages quite well, Italian among them. He was only a tough guy on the surface. He was actually very sweet by nature. If you didn't know him well, he was very remote, timid, morose. Self-conscious about his onscreen roles as villain. He'd recount how many times someone would bump into him in Hollywood trying to provoke him, saying: "Hey, since you're such a big tough guy up on the screen, let's just see if you can go a round or two with me." He loved painting, he made the round of the museums. For him movies were just a way to make money. Our system of working alienated him, even if he enjoyed our inventiveness. For instance, he didn't understand, like nearly all the foreign actors I've worked on, why, over here, we dub almost everything.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Carlo Lizzani on Westerns

Carlo Lizzani: My Western is a minor episode. Among other reasons I made UN FIUME DI DOLLARI (THE HILLS RUN RED) in '66 with the American pseudonym Lee Beaver because it was the moment of the wave of Westerns, and to pay back De Laurentiis for having lent me a hand working in that period of our cinematographic "maccartismo". With him I'd made IL GOBBO (THE HUNCHBACK OF ROME) and IL PROCESSO DI VERONA (THE TRIAL OF VERONA). To repay him, I did a Western using an American name when he asked me to. And I did it too for the reason so many of our directors do television commercials – money. Then I made REQUIESCANT (KILL AND PRAY), which had pretenses to being something more serious, and I did sign it in fact, in order to raise funds for a commune some friends and I had established. I consulted Pasolini about this since we were so close in those days, and he approved the idea. He said, "But yes. Why not?" The idea for the Western and of Western films (in general) amused Pier Paolo a great deal. He'd acted for me in GOBBO, and he ended up playing a small part in REQUIESCANT. He was very open minded, never taken aback by anything.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The director of HATE FOR HATE

Domenico Paolella: ODIO PER ODIO (HATE FOR HATE) was a Western in its settings and situations and costumes/conventions. But it was really a melodrama, a film made from a complicated story that followed pretty closely a classic melodramatic plotline, a story of passions, emotions, revenge. Instead of bending the genre out of shape (one could alternatively do a purist Western, but I seriously doubt Italians have it in them to do it this way!), it helped the film. I preferred the formula of contaminating the Western with something more in our traditions: the serial and the melodrama. HATE FOR HATE is a tale out of the serials made more dynamic by being transported into a Western setting. The experiment was openly declared by me, so much so that the producer, Italo Zingarelli, proposed a script to me on which he had some doubts and modifying it in a Western direction. This became HATE FOR HATE, whose success allowed, among other things, the debut of Enzo Barboni and the Trinity movies. We shot the film in Catalonia with Antonio Sabato, a young actor who I've seen since in only a bit role in Grand Prix, and with John Ireland, who had made many true Westerns. It did huge box office business, and – honestly - I had made it believing in it.
The other one was EXECUTION. It was an Israeli co-production, and we shot the exteriors in Israel, in the desert. It was a film against war, against violence, and it rested on the story of two friends, which was still a fairly novel idea. Only later was it in run into the ground, and turned into a cliché. One of the pair dies from a shot meant for the other. And in the finale the surviving one of the pair literally hangs up his guns on the grave of his friend. John Richardson, today a successful actor of television movies in the US, was English by origin, a very trained actor, very restrained in his readings. Well, my Westerns were very different from those of my colleagues and friends, who have drawn from the genre the most they could, with the greatest intelligence.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dollhouse #9 Spy In the House of Love

Only three or four episodes left in this first season, and this week's installment is another "game changer".

Thursday, April 9, 2009

In Praise of Sonja Bennett

Among the previously listed Canadian actresses was this young woman who came to my attention in the 2002 film PUNCH for which she was awarded the Women In Film Award at the 2002 Vancouver International Film Festival as well as the Best Actress In A Canadian Film by the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Surprising, she never appeared on DaVinci's Inquest, but showed up on other "shot in Vancouver" TV shows like John Doe, Cold Squad, Tru Calling, The Dead Zone, Masters of Horror, Stargate Atlantis, Blade the series, Supernatural, Masters of Science Fiction, Fear Itself, Psych and Battlestar Galactica - but was featured best with a reoccuring role at the end of season two of Eureka as a love interest for the show's hero Sheriff Jack Carter. This year she was again awarded by the Vancouver Film Critics Circle for her performance in a film given such a title as to dare a distributor in the U.S. to pick it up: YOUNG PEOPLE FUCKING. If anyone is aware of a Canadian DVD release, please let me know.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The director of DJANGO

Sergio Corbucci: DJANGO was the first Western that in a certain manner shows the impact of Sergio Leone's influence. I'd had some success with MINNESOTA CLAY, but it hadn't broken any records as FISTFUL had. Planning another Western, any film one might have come up with ran the risk of imitating FISTFUL, something I strenuously wanted to avoid. So then, in order to strike off in a new direction, I figured that if he had done a film full of violence but decidedly dominated by sunlight, I'd do one instead -influenced somewhat by Kurosawa, a picaresque Western, somewhat Noir-ish, an anti-Western par excellence, in which instead of riding on horseback, the hero would travel by foot; he would move through cold rather than heat; instead of struggling with sweat and dust, he'd combat mud and snow...
With this film, I launched a new actor, Franco Nero, who had done nothing at this point. I found him in an acting agency, where his photo had been gathering dust for who knows how long. DJANGO was a great international success. Pier Paolo Pasolini once told me that when he'd visit an African village, or some other godforsaken place, as soon as he was recognized as an Italian, he'd hear murmurs of "Django", because it was one of a mere handful of films at the time that reached all the movie theaters worldwide.
DJANGO was my least expensive Western, a film shot adventurously, so much so that halfway through I wanted to abandon it. I was convinced that things weren't going well, that I was screwing up big time. The budget was exceedingly modest, with not a single name actor. We shot part in Spain, part in Rome, and Franco Rosselini produced, his debut in that capacity. At a certain point we were just about down to our last lira. And here in Rome it was very difficult to get the mud we needed. As a result, there were no crowd scenes; we shot only in abandoned and uninhabited places. Yes, there was that one scene with lots of horses. I was nervous about this, I didn't really know what I was doing...
Franco Nero, in reality Sparanero, was an extremely handsome young fellow from Parma. He had a pair of big blue eyes, and tremendous will power. I chose him for DJANGO over Mark Damon, an American actor with whom I made another Western for Metro, JOHNNY ORO. I liked the American type of face, its personable quality, and its seriousness. Today, he (Nero) is somewhat remote, but back then he was very friendly and always eager to please. While we were filming DJANGO, a film in which he appeared in every scene, John Huston called him, wanting to give him a part in THE BIBLE, but he needed an actor who spoke English. Franco didn't know a word, but he studied diligently with a crazy tenacity, and in less than a week he could carry on a simple conversation. He was a very shy kid, very nervous. Afterwards, he was called to America, where he became acquainted with Vanessa Redgrave, and his true career began there.
Later on, I made two other films with him, IL MERCENARIO (THE MERCENARY) and VAMOS A MATAR COMPANEROS, the latter with Tomas Milian, with whom he fought constantly. Tomas, this Cuban émigré who then found his fortune playing Roman dialect parts, was a different personality-type (than Franco): extroverted, full of song, half mad, entertaining. I insisted he dub himself, because I found his accent lovely and very convincing for South American and Mexican roles. And he was excellent. Besides Nero, I also launched Burt Reynolds, as well as Tony Musante in IL MERCENARIO. Reynolds did his first film with me, NAVAJO JOE. De Laurentiis had proposed an American actor who I didn't want. I said: "Let's try someone totally new." and I went leafing through pictures at the Actors' Guild, where I found his photograph. Then I remembered I'd encountered him earlier in Spain. He'd arrived on the set to say hello to Eastwood, who was his friend. At the time he was a stunt double for Marlon Brando, and he exploited his acrobatic abilities. I chose him without even testing him.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm really enjoying this new ABC show CASTLE.

Nathan Fillion is terrific as a crime novelist who has wormed his way into assisting an homicide detective working cases, and Stana Katic is a wonderful foil for him as the cop. Added fun comes from the writer's quirky family with Susan Sullivan as his mother and Molly C. Quinn as his daughter. Episode 6 is the first one to feature a truely remarkable case, but all of the shows sparkle with wit and a surprisingly realistic portrait of police work.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Steve Reeves on shooting HERCULES

The Perfect Vision: What was the shooting schedule on Hercules?

Steve Reeves: Three months. Most of my pictures were about three months. In the case of Hercules, the picture was over, but my contract said I had to stay around in case they needed some retakes. I waited about three days, then shaved off my beard. Then they called me and said they would need a day of retakes. But they added, 'We don't have any money. You have to do it for nothing.' I went and talked to Francisci, and he said, 'If you're my friend, you'll do it for nothing.' And I said, 'If you're my friend, you wouldn't ask me to do it for nothing.' Eventually, they agreed to pay me. 'We'll have the money there when you get on the set.' I went there and got my goatee and mustache pasted on, got into my costume, ready to shoot, and the money didn't show up. So I sat down in a yoga position, pretending to put myself in a trance. I played the part of a god, and the clouds actually started coming in so that they couldn't shoot. So they said, 'We'll have the money here by noon,' and sure enough, they arrived with half the money at about 12 o'clock, and the clouds parted and we did half a day's shooting. The next day they came on the set with the rest of the money and that was it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dollhouse #8 "Needs"

This episode seemed devoted to introducing back story elements. As such it was good, but not as much fun as previous episodes.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dollhouse #7 "Echoes"

While last week's episode was a bit of a let down from the previous one, it did more to establish the science fiction basis for the show than any prior episode - and to set-up the direction in which future episodes may go. There's a new episode tonight and then only four more after that.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Giuliano Gemma on Duccio Tessari

Giuliano Gemma: I could grasp Duccio Tessari's brand of irony because he's someone who has superior powers of communication and can make you understand what he wants perfectly. It was easy enough to grasp. Besides, I too, by temperament, have a certain sense of humor; I'm very much on the same wavelength as Duccio. In fact I've always liked comic roles, of the EVEN ANGELS EAT BEANS variety. During ARRIVANO I TITANI (aka SONS OF THUNDER, aka MY SON THE HERO), Tessari presented me to the producers with the idea of using me for this film. He's never said it to me, but I suspect he had me in mind while writing it, because I was the first person auditioned, and he immediately chose me and rechristened me Montgomery Wood.
At that time, only Leone's FISTFUL OF DOLLARS had been released. The difference between our Western and his was that ...Ringo was very anti-mythic, very ironic, whereas Leone's film was very violent, much cruder. I've known Sergio for years, but we've never worked together, the opportunity has never arisen. Obviously he does films with an American feel, and so he uses Americans... Personally, even before arriving at Ringo, I was already a fan of Westerns (as all boys and men were at the time, I believe), and I'd seen them all. One with Kirk Douglas - MAN WITHOUT A STAR (1951)- particularly took me because he did some incredible moves with his pistol. So a month before starting to film, I practiced all the things he'd done in that film, and it was very useful to have that as a model, because there was nobody here who could have taught me. Westerns were still a total novelty for us, a question mark. It was a lot of work learning how to do the proper walk as well. This is something I practice to this day, because I naturally move in small quick steps with my feet turned out, not a pretty sight. It's a defect due to athletics, a result of doing gymnastics, which has left me with a duck-walk. By now, though, it's just a lingering professional headache, and as soon as the clapper comes down I concentrate on keeping my feet turned in, and walking slowly.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gordon Mitchell on Demofilo Fidani and the Cave Film Studio

Devin Kelly: More than any spaghetti western director, you've worked with Demofilo Fidani on a number of films, including COFFIN FULL OF DOLLARS (1970), STRANGER THAT KNEELS BESIDE THE SHADOW OF A CORPSE (1970), DJANGO AND SARTANA ARE COMING...IT'S THE END (1970), LOBO THE BASTARD (1971), and BALLAD OF DJANGO (1971), Why did you choose to do films with Fidani so often? Was he a good director to get along with?

Gordon Mitchell: Well to be very truthful with you I worked with him on a couple of other films, but I built a film studio in Rome and I did things people couldn't believe that I did, because no one would think. Here's a stupid American making a film studio. To have a film studio you have to have all kinds of stuff according to the laws of the Italian government. And you must work in Italian film city or laboratories that is recognized by the government and you have to come up to all the rules and regulations, and la, la, and nobody did think I could do it. Well to make the story short, I did it. You come work in my studio, you will get your money from the government. I mean they give you a percent of your money loans. You work in one of the studios recognized by the government. Well, Fidani was my first customer, and he made many, many westerns with me up in my studios, up there in Rome. And that's why I did it, because he kept working (laughs) and doing the films. I would say he was very, very original and he knew how to take parts from one film and put them onto another one, and another one, another one, and another one. Basically that was the reason I worked so much, because he'd do a lot more films in my production place than most of the other studios.