Thursday 8 September 2016

Vale Richard Neville - A small cinephile memoir from David Coles

Richard Neville, writer, publisher, defender of literary freedom, activist, social gadfly and long time provocateur died this week. There were many most enjoyable reminiscences offered. Here is another from David Coles who, at the time was manager of the Roma Cinema after he previously  managed his own iconic Sydney venue Dave's Encore Cinema. 

David writes: At the Roma Cinema we had a very long run in 1985/6 when we relaunched of the film The Gods Must Be Crazy after it died in its premiere release at the Hoyts Centre.

The season was helped by Richard Neville coming along to see it, and wanting to mention it in a regular segment he had on Ray Martin's Midday Show on TCN9.
The film's distributor (Fox) didn't have any clips for the TV station to use, or any spare copies of the film.

However, Neville was film savvy (having been one of the founders of Opunka the UNSW Film group in 1962) and was able to tell me that the sequence he wanted to show was in spool 2.

Being a trusting soul, I gave him the 20 minute 35mm reel after the 1pm session he attended, and he promised faithfully to take it immediately to the TV station for copying - and have it back to us at the cinema in time for the next showing (at 7pm).
This is where you are expecting to read the classic line "... and I never saw him again." !!!

BUT NO - true to his word, it was returned in plenty of time for the evening performance.

Thanks in part to Richard Neville, I retired at 40.

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