A new look at Ray Davies' all-too-rarely seen Kinks promo video from the 1980s, featuring Kast Off Kinks Ian Gibbons, Jim Rodford and Bob Henrit
The female lead was played by Francine Brody, actress, book editor and cellist :
KOK: Was it planned that your character would be a cellist, or was the story written around the fact that you played cello when you got the part?
FB : I think it was all just about planned except that they were originally looking for a violinist but when I went to the audition they changed their mind.
It was quite funny - Ray loved my shoes and dress that I wore to the audition so much that he asked me to wear them in the video.
KOK: I don't suppose there are many actresses who play the cello?
FB : Actually, there are a few actresses who are cellists, but I was very upset when the part of Jackie (Jacqueline du Pre) in Hilary and Jackie went to one who wasn't!! I didn't actually see it but I heard it was very good and luckily I think Emily Watson is a great actress.
KOK: Do you remember the location?
FB : Much of it was shot at Ray's house as far as I remember. Certainly the outside shots were in his garden.
The beginning of the video is cut from the VH-1 clip, but it started out with a scene of me creeping out of bed, which was filmed in Ray's bathroom! It was great fun. (Note : thanks to Dave Emlenwe have now obtained that opening scene and reconstructed the entire video, which is the clip we are using here)
KOK: It looks a very happy video - there is a lot of smiling going on. Did you get on well with Ray and the band?
FB : Ray was lovely and so were all the band and crew. Ray's daughter is the cellist next to me and his wife or partner at the time is one of the violinists.
Perhaps another interesting thing to add is that the book we used was actually "Lace" by Shirley Conran and the false jacket was painted to look like me. Ray autographed it for me and it is a treasured keepsake!
And on my wall at home is a favourite photo : a still of Ray and me from the video.
The Photo on Francine's wall
We asked the three Kast Off Kinks involved for their recollections of making the video :
Bob says that Ray was writer, producer and director and recalls that the video was shot mostly at Olympic studios in Barnes. He thinks Tor Davies played the other cellist.
"I can't remember who the conductor was - probably an actor from Central casting, and not sure who the horn section was, but two of them look like Nicky Payne and Andy Hamilton."
Ian agrees that most of the video that the band were involved in was definitely done at Olympic Studios in Barnes. They had a very large room there with a full size cinema screen, specifically designed for orchestras etc to overdub soundtracks.
"I can't remember who the conductor was either. I do however, remember standing around all day with the rest of the band, waiting to do our little bit (my screen time is probably 3 or 4 seconds) and the phrase 'hurry up and wait' comes to mind. We'd been there since 10 in the morning and didn't film our bit until late evening, as is usual with any filming!" "There is one small story attached to this; I was asked by Ray if I knew of anyone who could write a score for the conductor, and I duly got one done by a friend of mine (John Boughtwood) who worked for the BBC at the time as a music transcriber. When the full score was put on the conductors music stand, it obscured his face during filming, so the score was cut in half!!! Although my friend had been paid for this, he had spent a lot of time on it, and I remember feeling quite upset for him! Any old bit of music would have done really…"
"I seem to remember the catering being quite good, and there may have been some other liquid refreshment available to keep us all going."
Jim's main memory of making the video is of struggling with the double bass - not his instrument of choice!
Finally, we got a bit of an insight into the conception of the video from Ray Davies himself :
"I was ill with flu at the time I conceived the idea for the video of 'Lost and Found'.
I dragged myself out and saw what became the inspiration for the film within the film - a classic French silent move of 1927 - 'Napoléon', directed by Abel Gance, who could be said to have invented Cinerama"
This 5-hour epic was regarded as groundbreaking, as the final section was made as a triptych - involving the simultaneous projection of three reels of silent film arrayed in a horizontal row, making for a total aspect ratio of 4.0:1.
This configuration is considered a largely similar precursor to Cinerama, which would debut a quarter of a century later.
A re-edited version of Napoléon, in 1935, with added dialogue and sound effects, was the first movie with stereophonic sound.
It was painstakingly restored by film historian Kevin Brownlow over several years and versions were released in 1980 and 1983, to be shown in specialist cinemas such as the National Film Theatre and the Barbican Centre in London.
Ray Davies in the film within the film
Vladimir Roudenko as young Napoléon and Albert Dieudonné as the adult Napoléon
In 1775, the East Coast of America was indeed struck by a severe hurricane, known as the "Independence Hurricane".
However, having crossed the coastline in North Carolina, it swung northeast through Virginia, then went offshore and bypassed New York, so the lovers would have been spared.
Unfortunately for the people of Newfoundland, the hurricane moved inland again there and wreaked immense damage.
I just love this video. The film within the film is a wonderful pastiche of a silent movie, the late arrival of the cellist is a very clever touch and I think the whole piece is very well acted.
My favourite part is the dénouement, where the lovers are finally united, Bob hits that tremendous drum roll, Dave Davies' lead guitar breaks through, the conductor looks so touched, the brass section swells and the whole band grins happily. I challenge anyone not to smile along with them.
It is such a shame that nobody can remember the name of the splendid actor who played the conductor. Maybe we will find out one day.