Rest in Peace, V F Perkins: the great writer, critic and colleague. Film as Film had the most vital influence on me. It achieves the extraordinary in ordinary language: freeing the study of film, encouraging a critical community to look and write more keenly, illuminating the achievements there for all to see in exemplary moments of movie-making. Time in Victor’s company revealed a generous and kind man, always talking and writing with the same searing brilliance. His understanding of film is unsurpassed. The way he would evoke moments on screen in his words was the main inspiration for my having become an academic. This is a great and painful loss.
There are many like-minded scholars, left behind in mourning, but gratefully and deeply influenced by V F Perkins’ work. A recent trip with colleagues most close to Victor became a fond exchange of memories. Searching for the right words to match these precious experiences, just as Film as Film encourages us to do, the group went to school in London sunshine. The finest teacher was absent but very much there, guiding the conversation, delicately prompting, elevating observations towards insight.
Film as Film is built on the gathering of emotion, intellect, and judgement into an ever more rewarding way of seeing. It should be read by everyone. Rarely has writing of any kind shone a brighter light on humanity’s potential, on the value of culture, art, and the moving image.