Essay Writer

[FRANCIS, Freddie] CHALLIS, Christopher

Are They Really So Awful?

London: Janus, 1995

8vo, pp. 276. Original black boards, lettered in silver to spine. Photographically illustrated dustwrapper.

First edition, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR TO HIS FRIEND, TWO-TIME OSCAR-WINNING CINEMATOGRAPHER FREDDIE FRANCIS: 'Freddy. Thanks for all your help so long ago. To bring you comfort in your dotage I assure you that you are NOT "awful".' With an introduction by Stanley Donen.

Like so many distinguished British cinematographers of the period, Christopher Challis [1919-2012] was one of 'The Archers', attending the University of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. He worked as camera operator under Jack Cardiff on The Red Shoes (1948). He was Director of Photography on The Tales of Hoffmann (1951), and on that film his friend Freddie Francis, to whom this book is inscribed, worked as camera operator. As well as a number of middle-period Powell and Pressburger films, Challis shot Genevieve (1953); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and Arabesque (1966), directed by Stanley Donen, who provides the introduction for this book.

Explaining both the title and Challis's inscription, part of the jacket blurb reads: 'ARE THEY REALLY SO AWFUL? was a question directed at Christopher Challis when he was a young man, and referred to everyone involved in the making of films.'

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