Skip to main content

Robin Wood

It is with sadness that the University announces the death of former Film Studies lecturer and film critic, Robin Wood, who passed away on 18 December aged 78.

Mr Wood was a film critic who published the first serious work in English on Alfred Hitchcock. While teaching English at a secondary school, he placed an article on Hitchcock’s Psycho in Cahiers du Cinéma, the celebrated journal associated with the French New Wave and auteur theory. With this validation, he began writing for a variety of British publications and followed up with a series of influential studies of important directors.

Robert Paul Wood was born in Richmond, Surrey, on February 23, 1931. After earning a degree in English from Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1953 and a diploma in education a year later, he taught English at secondary schools in Britain and France. At one, he started a film society and encouraged students to write critical appraisals of the films they watched.

After the Hitchcock article, a series of important monographs followed including: “Howard Hawks” (1968), “Arthur Penn” (1968), “Ingmar Bergman” (1969) and “The Apu Trilogy” (1971), which dealt with Satyajit Ray’s work.

In 1973 Mr. Wood was invited to create a film studies program at the University of Warwick, , where he lectured until accepting a post as professor of film studies at York University in Toronto in 1977. He retired in 1990.

Mr Wood is survived by his partner Mr. Lippe, his children Simon, Carin and Fiona and five grandchildren.