NATAN, rough poster test by Enda O’Connor.

NATAN, the documentary by Paul Duane and myself, screens this evening at 18:10 at the Irish Film Institute. Fiona and I are flying over in the morning. Paul and I will be wafted before the public’s adoring eye at the screening. We may also be appearing on a panel later in the weekend, entitled How To Get Your Documentary Made or something like that. Hilarious, since I know nothing whatsoever about the subject — Paul deserves all the credit for getting NATAN made. But I might be able to describe some of the things he did that resulted in the film getting made.

Bernard Natan used to sign his films — literally, his producer credit was an animated signature inscribing itself on the screen. And then, as Natan’s reputation was destroyed and his company taken away from him, a lot of his films were shorn of their signatures. When the movies got re-released, it was considered embarrassing for their executive producer’s name to be seen. And during the Occupation, many Jewish filmmakers were quietly erased from title sequences.

Since then, Natan’s name has been restored to some of his films, and a few historians have attempted to restore his reputation. That’s the effort Paul and I hope to contribute to with our film, which should tell a dramatic and tragic story, shine a light upon some neglected corners of cinema history — but also help give Bernard Natan his good name back ~

NATAN on the IMDb. Bernard Natan on the IMDb, still listing one of the pornographic films he never made. And our first review — a rave!

15 Responses to “NATAN”

  1. Many congratulations, David. I hope you and Fiona have a great time and that it won’t be too long before NATAN gets a screening here.

  2. david wingrove Says:

    Congratulations on that rave review! Why did you never tell me you were Irish?!

  3. I’m not! But they’re a very welcoming people.

    Hope to have news of Scottish screenings soon…

  4. David Boxwell Says:

    Palindrome! Chunky deco sans-serif! Decasia-stye horror head!

    ( I am dying to see this).

  5. Three hours from now, the thing screens… fortunately his granddaughters have already seen it, or I’d be REALLY nervous. They’ve come over for the premiere and I hope there’s a bit of buzz to make them feel it was worth it!

  6. Hope it goes swimmingly, and congrats on the new citizenship. Donald Clarke is a generous soul indeed… So many happy IFI memories — I somehow managed to get a ticket to their inaugural screening in 1992; talk about looking out of place as a scruffy 18-year-old.

  7. Also my congratulations. Hopefully it will play in my area sometime.

  8. Break a leg!

  9. jiminholland Says:

    In Holland, the equivalent expression to ‘break a leg’ is ‘toi toi toi.’

    As the word ‘toi’ is otherwise meaningless in Dutch, it’s been theorized that this expression is a bilingual pun.

    ‘Toi’ = ‘toy’, which in Dutch is ‘speelgoed.’

    ‘Speelgoed’ translates into English literally as ‘play good.’

    And because, unlike English, but like most other western European languages, Dutch adjectives and adverbs normally take the same form, this also translates as ‘play well.’

    So: Play well while breaking toys with your leg!

  10. What he said. And I hope that America somehow gets a taste. C’mon, we’re the greatest nation on earth. All our presidents say so.

  11. How about a screening in France someday? :)

  12. That is certainly part of our plan — we’ll be targeting French film festivals, and we have French TV rights to sell. We also hope to record an alternative French VO specially for this purpose.

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