The Schoolmen ride again

Richard Mayne

  • Cinema: A Critical Dictionary: The Major Film-Makers edited by Richard Roud
    Secker, 1120 pp, £25.00, February 1980, ISBN 0 436 42830 X
  • The Dream that Kicks: The Prehistory and Early Years of Cinema in Britain by Michael Chanan
    Routledge, 356 pp, £12.50, January 1980, ISBN 0 7100 0319 6

As good new films grow fewer, books on the cinema multiply. Is critical attention the sign of a dying art? Or is it that more films now merit scrutiny? It’s tempting to think that they do – until we remember how many critics anatomise trivia, how much trash still accumulates, and how often this month’s masterpieces turn into the schlock of yesteryear. No: the fact is that movie critics have changed.

The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.

You are not logged in