I Found It at the Movies, By Philip French

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The Independent Culture

This collection of longer essays from 1964 to 2009 explains why Philip French is the doyen of British film critics. His speciality is the seemingly effortless thematic piece.

This book contains amusing, insightful considerations of films about Venice, New York, the Post Office, art, gangsters and newspapers: "The B picture star Elaine Shepherd quit Hollywood to become a reporter and even wrote an autobiography called Forgive Us Our Press Passes." His wit is as sharp as his knowledge.

An essay from 1966 on British cinema's obsession with Swinging London concludes: "It is true that the emperor has got new clothes but should emperors shop exclusively on Carnaby Street?" French's delectable criticism deserves an audience far beyond hard-core film buffs.