Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Grand Canaries, a Mecca for Cinema [archived newspaper article]

October 30, 1974 from Eco de Canarias, Spain

 The cinema is like this: It makes us create a completely different image of an actor, an actress, who many of the times does not even have the slightest resemblance to reality. And that happened to us yesterday afternoon. The character: Lee Van Cleef; well, to dry, because with this man and this name one can freely avoid introductions. But we must add, just in case, that he is the popular actor of the ‘western’, come on, of western movies, especially. For example "For a Fistful of Dollars, "The Good, the Bad Ugly and the Ugly", etc. We had a false image of him because of the big screen. We were afraid to find the tough, violent man, the bad Lee Van Cleef of the movies, and the opposite happened. He is nice, pleasant, easygoing, humorous. In short: Completely different from how we usually see him in the movies. There he was, in the “Aparthotel Protucasa, on Playa del Ingles, accompanied by his wife, Barbara. The motive cannot…. And it goes to them, first of all.

TAKE A HARD RIDE That's what this movie will be called. A ‘westerns’ of course, which will be shot entirely in the Archipelago, which is what happens for the first time. It is a Hispanic - North American production. Specifically from ‘Cintel S.A.’ and ‘Cocaco Service Co.’ and that will be distributed throughout the world by the famous ‘Twenthieth Century Fox.’ Producers will be Harry Bernsen and Leon Chooluck: as a disgusted producer. Maria Luisa Alcaraz; directors of photography; Riccardo Pallotini, and Raul Perez Cubero; the director is Antonio Margheritti Dawson; and the protagonists; Lee Van Cleef, Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, and Jim Kelly. More information: it is a feature film in 35 millimeters and in Eastmancolor. And in short, the argument is this: the story of the fidelity and friendship of a brave black man: strong and at the same time simple, who gives up his own life to defend the word he gave to a white man. At first glance you can think of a racial problem, but they tell us that it is the opposite: the protagonists are both good and bad.

THE STAGES Filming will begin next November 11 at the Canon del Aguila, in the western town located there, for which purpose they tell us it has been almost completely renovated, because it is in this interior place. The assembly will be filmed at the Press del Mulato, in the Canon de la Presa de Soria, in Tenerife and one week in Lazarote. In total, it will be about two months of filming.

PRESS CONFERENCE The press conference that had been called in the same "Aparthotel Protucasas", in order to let us know all these details related to the film. In it, apart from Lee Van Cleef himself and his wife, were Mr. Romano Serrari, director of "Cintel S.A." - a company that is totally committed to turning the island into a world cinematographic power -: the associated production company, Mrs. Alcaraz: the director of the film, and other members of the team. During the event, various points of great interest for Gran Canaria, in particular, and for those in general, were highlighted. Neither more nor less than to convert - as we have said - the island into a worldwide cinematographic power. And that this movie was the first step for it since apart from filming the tape entirely in the Archipelago. It will be the first of a series of five to shoot from now until the end of 1975, but not only of the "WESTERN" type, but of various subjects. -We want to make a “new Almeria here, more or less, but ideally there would be work to share it between here and there.

They add that with the material that is posted right now, two movies can be shot at the same time. For example, the filming of the second film, of American production, and which will be of a police cut, is on the right track. The script has already been written for a long time and is original by an American, which he realized in a season that happened now. It is written and set on the island and that is why it will be shot here. His titlei, in principle, is quite expressive of what they told us: "The Canaries." They also told us about the richness of the scenery, that the sets are very cheap because they are natural, the variety, the beauty of the landscapes, especially on the island of Lanzarote. In short: that Las Palmas could become a new mecca for world cinema. Hopefully so, Parra, it is necessary to support from all local levels all the initiatives that are carried out in this reg

READ VAN CLEEF Campechano, simple, humorous, friendly. The other side of the coin or the face of the big screen. We already said it above. Jeans, striped sweater and sailor cap. And he smokes, it seems to us that the same ‘mini-cigars’ with which he appears in his films. Without guns, without a tough or bad face, the dialogue was pleasant, but brief. - Beautifull It was his expression in Italian when asked his opinion of our island, in which he has been for about a week, Haola in English

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