Credit Where Credit is Due, and More
I received a letter yesterday from Bart van der Put, a journalist based in Amsterdam, informing me that the correct information about Bava's July 30 birthdate, contrary to what I wrote in my previous Bava blog entry, had in fact been previously published -- by him -- in the Spring 2002 issue of SCHOKKEND NIEUWS (# 54), a Dutch quarterly devoted to genre cinema.
"In October 2001," Bart writes, "I went on a pilgrimage of sorts to Rome, to try and find locations of Bava-films and see to what extent the city and culture has influenced his work. "It was an enlightening experience in many ways, and I ended up finding his grave as well. It was the most profound and frankly depressing cinema-related journey I ever made, and I've made a few over the years. I wrote a long article about the pilgrimage for SCHOKKEND NIEUWS and also published a shot of the headstone with those surprising dates." He attached to his letter this (I assume previously unpublished) photo of himself at the site.
"It is perfectly understandable and no fault of yours that our publication has fallen below the radar," he allows. "Our circulation is limited and all content is in Dutch."
Of course, I was unaware of Bart's article (which I'd very much like to read) and learned the truth of Bava's birth date as he did -- by seeing it on Bava's repository. The fact that the information was reported in Dutch gives it limited exposure, but my research has relied on findings and observations made in various books and articles in several different languages; the important thing, I feel, is to give credit where credit is due -- and Bart was demonstrably the first fan to report this fundamental discovery. I thank him for writing.
Last night I proofread my chapter on BLACK SUNDAY and it took me roughly three hours to read through -- it's 50 pages of four-columned text. It's got to be the equivalent in length and content of one of the thicker "BFI Modern Classics" books, and the chapter on PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, if I remember correctly, is somewhat longer.
Also, Donna tells me that she has now counted the illustrations in the main body of the text, so we can now report that MARIO BAVA - ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK will contain a minimum of 1126 illustrations, probably 3/4's of which are in full color.