Magazine article The Spectator

Murder in the Dark

Magazine article The Spectator

Murder in the Dark

Article excerpt

When the Observer critic Philip French started writing on the cinema in the early 1960s, he once explained in an interview, books about film were a rarity. 'Now I have three book-lined rooms dedicated just to the cinema, including 50 books on Hitchcock and 30 on film noir.' I Found it at the Movies (Carcanet, £19.95), a collection of essays and occasional writings about film first published from 1964 up to the present, is intended to 'throw light' on the times in which they were written and chart the shifting attitudes to film as entertainment and art.

But it is surprising how little has changed. The 1964 essay 'Violence in Cinema', for instance, shows how pioneering French was as a politically minded film journalist, reading films as symptomatic of social shifts. …

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