Cool jazz plays as graphic shapes descend, traverse the screen and form themselves into titles and names while the camera homes in on a long glass window. Etched upon it is the instruction that “pants must be worn at all times”, for this is “Middleton Interactive Learning Centre”; blu-tacked below this there is a piece […]
Here is the Times obituary I wrote of Peter Viertel. Peter Viertel: obituary Peter Viertel, dead at 86 – soon after his wife of forty-seven years, Deborah Kerr – was a cosmopolitan screenwriter whose work, often with John Huston, included a first draft of cultish Beat the Devil and a second of The African Queen, […]
Here is the Times obituary I wrote of somebody who not only wrote one of the great screenplays but, in his late-eighties, turned to a distinctive first novel – followed by a second. Co-creator of Mr Magoo, Millard Kaufman gained greater reknown at the age of almost forty when, in three weeks, he wrote the […]
When Marc Behm died a few years ago, this was the only obituary that he received in England. I had been watching Help! and wondered what had become of hime, only to find that he had recently, quietly, died. A distinctive talent: seek him out.
It’s on elsewhere of course, but it is more than fitting to go and see The Artist at the Duke of York’s in Brighton. After all, more than a century old, this is a cinema much as it was when silent movies were the stock-in-trade and now, as then, there has been a palpable camaraderie […]
Shortly after I had written this obituary ready for the death of the great animator Chuck Jones, I felt a little awkward as I followed him into the National Film Theatre, where he was giving a talk about his work. Here was I, a premature undertaker. I should have had hat in hand, head bowed. […]
It was with a start that I heard the opening line of Forster’s The Longest Journey quoted during Eric Rohmer’s A Winter’s Tale. The only novel by Forster not to have been filmed, it immediately became the opening of the obituary for the film director which had been on my mind a while. Seek out […]
It could have been have been a scene from a Woody Allen movie. In the Duke of York’s lobby before Midnight in Paris, in its auditorium before the lights went down, and in the lobby afterwards, there were people I knew – some of whom knew one another, and all eager to talk about movies. […]