Download I Found It at the Movies: Reflections of a Cinephile by Philip French PDF

By Philip French

For almost part a century, Philip French's writing on cinema has been crucial analyzing for filmgoers, cinephiles, and somebody who enjoys witty, clever engagement with the large reveal. This assortment brings jointly the very best of French's movie writing from 1964 to 2009 and explores various issues, together with British cinema, the Addams relatives, Satyajit Ray, Doris Day, Hollywood, and Hitchcock. A beneficiant and enthusiastic compilation, this e-book is an illuminating better half to the realm of cinema.

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It is still possible for Americans to respond to the exotic British hinterland, and one notes that this very month an American publisher is advertising a new book as ‘a brilliant, bawdy novel, the wildest yet to come out of the steaming back streets of workingclass England in a decade of literary revolt’. Generally speaking, however, they have found the product of the last couple of years more palatable, being more attracted by people from a working-class background than in one (this goes for the British too); and the chance one once saw of Americans developing a permanent taste for a new genre, ‘The Northern’, now seems remote.

There is a considerable discrepancy between the talents that have produced these pictures: Karel Reisz is a far better director than John Schlesinger, who in turn is infinitely superior to Lewis Gilbert. Nevertheless all three films illustrate the way a uniform style has been imposed upon disparate material. They resemble middle-aged men trying to squeeze into Mod clothes. This is more cause for sorrow than anger, though a recent stage musical, On the Level, provoked the drama critic of the Times to thunder that ‘the sight of middle-aged showmen clambering on the bandwagon of youth is one of the most contemptible the theatre has to offer’.

There is a sense in which the cinema by its very nature is drawn towards violence. In writing on ‘Film Aesthetic’ many years ago, Violence in the Cinema 27 Sir Herbert Read spoke of the camera as ‘a chisel of light, cutting into the reality of objects’, and it can be maintained that the flickering passage of 24 frames per second through the projector, the vertiginous movement of the camera, the continuous shifting of viewpoint, the rapid change of image in both size and character, the very idea of montage, make films – irrespective of their subjects – a violent experience for the audience.

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