A Tribute to Peter von Bagh

On Film / Short Takes — Sep 29, 2014

We were saddened to learn of the death of our dear friend Peter von Bagh. The seventy-one-year-old Finnish film director, historian, writer, and programmer (he cofounded the world-renowned Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä and was the artistic director of the essential Il Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna) was immeasurably important to us here at the Criterion Collection, both personally and professionally.

Along with the entire film world, we are grateful that von Bagh devoted so much of his time to interviewing many of our greatest directors, leaving behind him a treasure trove of insightful discussions about life and cinema. Earlier this year, with his blessing, we made a home here at Criterion for his archives, including more than 120 filmed interviews and even more in audio recordings. In honor of this perceptive and generous figure of cinema, we’ve compiled a short reel of delightful moments from a handful of these interviews, featuring a selection of directors responding to some questions Peter always asked: What is the first movie you remember seeing, and what film would you take with you to a desert island?