Page 6, 9th February 1962

9th February 1962
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Page 6, 9th February 1962 — PROFIT TO WHAT END?
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Locations: Glasgow, Venice

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PROFIT TO WHAT END?

By EVE McADAM

TWO programmes on Sunday provided viewers with plenty to think about. Anyone who heard Mgr. David Cashman speak in ATV's programme "Thou Shalt Not" must have listened to the BBC's offering in "Face to Face" with special attention, for here, once again, appeared Mr. Roy Thomson, fast becoming everyone's most intriguing interviewee.

Mr. Thomson made a much better impression this time than he did a fortnight ago. But, all the same, he generated, once again, an uneasy feeling in his audience. He is so plausible, so honest, likeable, sincere. Yet, under it all, he has got it wrong, all wrong, one feels; just how, why, where one cannot tell.

It was not until sometime afterwards, remembering what Bishop Continued from previous column temporary rules for communication that they spend their evening playing a sort of strip poker. Both players are charming and gifted though it seems absurd to see the brilliant Zygmunt Cybulski playing a tiny subsidiary part. As a lighter work from the director of such grim dramas as Kenai or Ashes and Diamonds it is an entertaining curiosity, hardly more.

IL POSTO Certificate "U" Director: Ermanno Olmi

THIS unpretentious, nearly perfect picture won the award of the International Catholic Cinema Office. It also won the Italian critics' award at Venice and the British Film Institute's "Sutherland Award". It was noticed here at the time of the London Film Festival and I have since given my opinion of it as the best film of 1961.

Its young director, 0Imi, has previously worked principally on documentary films. Here, to the characteristically human Italian story of a provincial youth brought to Milian for his first job, he applies the meticulous truth of authentic documentary method.

The young hero here (Sandro Panzeri) is instantly recognizable to anybody who has ever been young or shy; who has ever arrived first at the office (or other) dance and had to choose between the evils of being a wall-flower or dancing with the only available partner.

Cashman said, that one was able to sort it out.

THE 'TWISTS

IN"Thou Shalt Not" the relevance of the Commandments to our times was discussed by Bishop Cashman.

The "graven image" becomes today's status symbol in TV set, stew car, washing machine; to "covet" nowadays can be equated with keeping up with the Joneses; "false witness" can include not only perjury as of old, but today's smear campaign; murder can also mean more than physical killing — it can mean not caring,

and murdering by neglect and thoughtlessness.

PRESSURES

BISHOP CASHMAN agreed that we live under extreme pressures to-day, the pressure of making money, gaining power, of sex and ambition. All these pressures tend to displace God, but it is not the difficulties that matter, but what God wants. "Unless you keep the first Commandment to love God, you can't keep the others", said Bishop Cashman. "And it is the first Commandment which is the least observed to-day and the most widely broken, God won't excuse you. He has given every man a thermometer in his own soul, his conscience, with which to know good from evil."

These were the words that came back when thinking over the "Face to Face" programme.

SIDE-STEP

MR. ROY THOMSON won the audience over because he is a plain man, a middle-of-the-road man without fancy notions about himself. He created an impression of himself as one who conforms, Who enjoys the simple things of life, thrillers, variety acts.

He was not a religious man, he admitted, didn't go to church, but (as in the last interview) was all for the Golden Rule.

Side-stepping Freeman's question about God and Mammon, he parried with "it is possible. if You observe the Golden Rule, to make money and to lead a Christian life."

Freeman forced him to admit that he was prepared to publish a paper (and did, in fact publish one in Florida) that championed views, those of racial discrimination, which he knew to be unChristian, he would always publish if the paper showed a profit.

Freeman then asserted. "The major objective of your life is to make money."

Uncomfortable, but honest to the last, Roy Thomson answered "Yes. I agree."

This "Pace to Face" was an example of brilliant interviewing. Freeman was in terrific form. He knew all about Roy Thomson, knew where to strike and where his weaknesses lay. In other words, he had studied his subject before coming before t he audience.

SIR COMPTON

T' team of young interviewers who earlier on Sunday attempted in "Let's Find Out" (Light) to present Sir Compton Mackenzie to listeners could learn much from Freeman. Unlike him they had not looked up Sir Compton'a press cuttings. or they would have known that his earliest novels. 'The Passionate Elopement" and "Carnival". had been best-sellers and are now regarded as neo-classics. The interview was worth listening to, but this was thanks to the wit of Sir Compton.

He featured in another programme that evening appearing as the guest celebrity in the Glasgow transmission of "What's My Line?" (BBC). Eamonn Andrews commented on his abounding energy (Sir Compton has written 86 books. and has 15 novels lined up to write) and asked him his secret. Sir Compton complimented his distaff side: a gift, he said. inherited from his mother and grandmother.

HOW TO KILL

TN last Saturday's "Perry Mason" series (BBC) a man demonstrated in a court room scene a way in which any person could strangle another. Using a plaster cast of a human head, the player demonstrated how a certain grip at a certain angle could kill. Isn't it time this kind of blue print to crime was censored?




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