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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:41 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:36 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
As a boy in Dalton, Georgia I had very limited access to foreign films. My first introduction to them was the wonderful 1972 PBS series FILM ODYSSEY hosted by Charles Champlin.

I'm bringing this up for more than nostalgia. The interviews with filmmakers Champlin hosted after the show were incredible. Hitchcock talking on THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, King Vidor discussing OUR DAILY BREAD, Robert Altman on INTIMATE LIGHTING, etc. Does anyone know if these interview segments still exist? And if they do, why are they not widely available?

Thanks to my friend Frank for giving me a copy of the study guide for the series, here's a list of the movies and what interviews they mention. The series ran January-July 1972:

JULES AND JIM (intv. Jean Renoir)
THE BLUE ANGEL (intv. Andrew Sarris)
GRAND ILLUSION (intv. Jean Renoir)
M (intv. Fritz Lang)
THE SEVEN SAMURAI (intv. Toshiro Mifune)
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (intv. Francis Steegmuller)
IVAN THE TERRIBLE, PART 1 (intv. Annette Michaelson)
THE 39 STEPS
THE RULES OF THE GAME (intv. Jean Renoir)
INTIMATE LIGHTING (intv. Robert Altman)
POTEMKIN (a big deal was made that this was the first time on television that a silent film was shown at a different speed than 24fps. It was shown 20fps with the Meisel score) (intv. Annette Michaelson)
BARRIER
CLASSIC SHORTS I (ENTER HAMLET, THE RUNNING JUMPING AND STANDING STILL FILM, LES MISTONS, DO-IT-YOURSELF CARTOON KIT, ALL BOYS ARE CALLED PATRICK, TWO CASTLES, TEAM TEAM TEAM, CEREMONY, ALLURES)
CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (intv. Alfred Hitchcock)
ORPHEUS
KNIFE IN THE WATER (intv. Roman Polanski)
THE OVERCOAT
OUR DAILY BREAD (intv. King Vidor)
YOJIMBO
THE LAST LAUGH (intv. John Schlesinger)
SAWDUST AND TINSEL (intv. Stanley Kauffmann)
MAN OF ARAN
L'AVVENTURA
CLASSIC SHORTS II (ALLEGRO, RENAISSANCE, THE FAT AND THE LEAN, ACTUA-TILT, CORRIDA INTERDITE, LA JETEE)
TWO DAUGHTERS
LOS OLVIDADOS (intv. Andrew Sarris)


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 Post subject: Re: Film Odyssey
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:50 am
This seems to be the book. And there's a bit of discussion on the series here.


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 Post subject: Re: Film Odyssey
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:37 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:39 pm
Location: Lebanon, PA
This seems to have aired during a period when I was TV-less & so I missed it. I'd love to see some of those interviews.


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 Post subject: Re: Film Odyssey
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:55 am
Jeez! How did miss this for over two years? Sorry Brian!!

Yes the study guide was printed on nice heavy stock with hard card/paper cover in magazine size and format (about the size of an issue of SCARLET STREET, Harry!) and bound with heavy staples. The layout consisted of a table of contents/chronological listing of airdates and a couple of pages apiece with a photo, cast/credits, a brief description and excerpts from the taped interview segments. Also a brief bibliography for those intrepid souls who wished to do further research. A nice momento of the series but of questionable value due to the extreme brevity of the text. You had to request the booklet through your state educational television network (and/or?) KCET in LA and I don't recall asking for 3 copies but that's what they sent. I found them in a bottom dresser drawer with a Grove Press film catalogue (?) and a copy of that Films, Inc. "John Ford - American Film Master" catalogue/study guide/presskit which is practically a decades early preview of the FORD AT FOX boxset!

Yes Brian I wonder what became of those interview segments. I hope they still exist somewhere. Some were fairly brief but most were at least 15-20 minutes long and quite unique (Altman on Passer's INTIMATE LIGHTING). The Renoir may well have been his last taped/filmed interview (at least in studio rather than at home) due to his advanced age. These (along with the still unedited Kevin Brownlow interviews which became his later docs) were very likely the impetus for Schickel's THE MEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES three years down the road.

These were also my first comprehensive encounters with foreign and silent cinema which until that time I could only read about in SIGHT AND SOUND, FILM QUARTERLY, FILMS IN REVIEW, etc. and I have nothing but fond memories of seeing them all.


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 Post subject: Re: Film Odyssey
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:26 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:39 pm
Location: Lebanon, PA
Quote:
(about the size of an issue of SCARLET STREET, Harry!)

Or about the size of an issue of SCARLET... :-"


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 Post subject: Re: Film Odyssey
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:34 pm
It was an exceptional, rather classy series. I was a teenage would-be director and totally wrapped up in movie history, director interviews etc. at the time. Champlin was genial, the films quite a spectrum. I didn't "get" some of the shorts like Marker's La Jetée or Truffaut's Les Mistons. So impressive to see ancient Renoir interviewed, esp. after reading Stroheim's (?) noble foreword about him in the published Grand Illusion script. Schlesinger was pointedly denying being ***ish back then. Weren't they all?

What I'm itching for is to hear the Film Odyssey music theme again, a perky electronic number. Unlike so many from the period, it doesn't seem to be posted in Youtube.

Apparently Champlin, born 1926, is still alive. Hope he's having a great, healthy life.


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 Post subject: Re: Film Odyssey
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:21 am
As many of you are aware, Charles Champlin, the host of our beloved PBS series "Film Odyssey" and the esteemed film critic for the Los Angeles Times (1965-91) died on 16 November 2014 at his home in Los Angeles. And he was 88. Echoing the comment from BrianInAtlanta almost ten years ago, I am still wondering about all interview portions of "Film Odyssey." If nothing has been done, I wish someone could take a lead and appeal the management of PBS and/or Criterion Collection to recover all interview portions of "Film Odyssey" in the form of DVD.


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