Described by Philip French as “one of the greatest film-makers this country has produced”, John Boorman’s Oscar-nominated films include Deliverance, Excalibur and Hope and Glory. According to French, his 1967 film Point Blank marked “a landmark in the history of the crime movie”. Most film critics begin as enthusiasts, but faced with the drudgery of watching mostly poor films week after week come to resent and eventually hate their function, and their ire finds its way into their columns. Philip has never lost the love of movies and the thrill of that moment when the lights go down, so his reviews are generous and positive as well as penetrating. Although was it a sign that the end was nigh when, with an alien cruelty, he described (hilariously) Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby as “Proust directed by Michael Winner”? His astonishing memory allowed him to put each new film into a historical perspective. It is this grasp of the whole that will be irreplaceable. Movies have only been made for a 100 years or so and Philip has probably watched half of them. He has kept watch, put things in their place, bravely endured the dross, and celebrated the good ones… Read full this story
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