The voice of Victor Perkins was the first and last I heard as a student in the Department of Film & Television Studies at the University of Warwick. He was my personal tutor in the first year of my undergraduate degree in 2000 and subsequently my supervisor for my MA dissertation in 2004. He introduced us to Through the Olive Trees one October Monday at 5pm and then taught us all about it the following day. While I can’t pretend to really have had the foggiest idea about the film, or what I perceived as an almost endless static final shot, I knew I was exactly where I wanted to be and myself and my classmates were in very good hands.
Victor worked patiently with me on my dissertation, inspiring me to take my initial ramblings into directions I wouldn’t have ever conceived without his guidance. All I knew was that while I thought Scorsese’s New York, New York was pretty terrible, it had something in it on which I wanted to write 20,000 words. Victor humoured me, encouraged me and ultimately put me straight, enabling me to secure what remains my proudest academic achievement.
What resonates most with me about Victor was that he was the tutor my housemates, girlfriend and parents would ask about during and after my time studying at the university. As others have said in their tributes, Victor was Film Studies at Warwick and his character, generosity and kindness made it such a special place to study cinema.
As a Media Production tutor of more than 10 years now, I certainly wouldn’t be teaching film for a living if it wasn’t for VFP. I won’t pretend it is easy to get 16 year olds to read Film as Film but I ensured that it was stocked in my college library from 2005 onwards and it has certainly made it onto more than a few students’ radars in that time. When my learners reference Victor’s work, or indeed just delve deeper into ‘reading’ a film than they have before I regard it as a small victory for me but one I also share with Victor Perkins.