11 April 2019, The Tablet

Lighting up the dark


Lighting up the dark

Roberto Benigni with his Oscars for Life is Beautiful, a film which scandalised Philip French
Photo: PA, Peter Jordan

 

Notes from the Dream House: Selected Film Reviews 1963 – 2013
PHILIP FRENCH; EDited by KERSTI, KARL, PATRICK AND SEAN FRENCH
(CARCANET, 320 PP, £19.99)
Tablet bookshop price £17.99 • Tel 020 7799 4064

For 40 years, from 1973 to 2013, Philip French was my main reason for buying The Observer every Sunday. His film reviews were erudite without showing off, witty and profound at the same time, and beautifully written. They came from a well- read and open mind, a lover of literature, music, theatre and fine art, who thought their younger sister, cinema, as important as any of them.

I would bump into French when I was briefly a radio critic at those strange morning screenings, usually in the front row, and always waiting till the final credits rolled.

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