The cinema : 1952 (1952)

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ROBERT FLAHERTY 129 film-maker has given so much in sheer devotion to the por- trayal of the lives of people whom he had first of all to make his trusting friends before they could keep their natural dig- nity and their deeply personal expression alive and un- affected in the face of his camera. With Flaherty, Eisenstein, and Griffith, the film has lost three of its greatest founders. All three knew the suffering caused by artistic frustration. All three were outstanding personalities. My picture of Flaherty is of a man walking agilely, in spite of his bulk, to the restaurants round the old harbour at Cannes, delighting in the reception given in Europe to Louisiana Story, drinking in a pub in Wardour Street surrounded by a delighted company of British film- makers, or sitting in his private room in a Kensington hotel telling stories over a bottle of champagne and a pineapple, with his wife quietly interjecting now and then. Very few men I have known had such a capacity for inspiring immed- iate affection, and the news of his death came with a sharp personal sting.