I was sent to boarding school - a grim place. The only good thing the headmaster did for us was every Sunday evening in the winter he would show us films in the chapel. He couldn't afford a sound projector, so we saw silent films, which you could then still rent from photographic shops. .
It was 1953, and I was still at school. I'd borrowed a silent French film from the library for my 9.5mm projector. It was by Jean Epstein, and it was awful. So I rang the library and asked if they had anything else. They said they had 'Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Revolution.' .
I realised that you could easily turn any room into a cinema with a projector, so I went on and on at my parents for one. They eventually got me a projector for Christmas when I was ten, and I realised I'd made a ridiculous mistake - I'd forgotten to say 'movie' projector; I got a still one. .
I decided to restore 'Napoleon' after a widescreen festival at the Odeon Leicester Square in 1968. It was run by Richard Arnell and George Dunning, who animated and directed 'Yellow Submarine,' and they'd got their hands on the last scene, the triptychs. They just showed that part, without music and with the projectors misaligned. .
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