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California!

Geoffrey Cannon, Listener, The, 22 November 1967

2012 NOTE: In the third (and last) column below written for The Listener in late 1967, I tried to begin to grope towards construction of a general theory of rock, and also to carve out my own space. I was influenced in this by Movie, the British version of the French magazine Cahiers du Cinema. When at university at Oxford, I published and edited the student magazine Oxford Opinion. I invited Ian Cameron to mastermind as well as edit a section on cinema, which he did, with Mark Shivas, and then also Paul Mayersberg and Victor Perkins. They junked the orthodox position as represented in the UK by the magazine Sight and Sound, which more or less equated films with their scripts, and rated them according to their political correctness. Ian and his gang developed fine lines in scorn, derision and contempt. Instead, they followed Cahiers. As well as rating directors like Welles, Ford and Hitchcock very highly, as most film critics have always done, they celebrated Nicholas Ray, Howard Hawks, and Douglas Sirk, and also Frank Tashlin, Bud Boetticher and Samuel Fuller, as well as the French nouvelle vague directors. After Oxford they launched Movie magazine. What they were doing, with their French counterparts, was working out what movies really are.

Total word count of piece: 2307

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