Raymond Durgnat

The BFI have just published an excellent collection of material by maverick film critic Raymond Durgnat. Heroically edited by Henry K. MillerThe Essential Raymond Durgnat includes his reviews of Wholly Communion and Tonite Let's All Make Love in London originally published in Films and Filming. The latter is a particularly interesting attempt to conceptualize what might constitute a psychedelic cinema. There's also a brilliant translation of 'Aiming at the Archers' by Evie Salmon. The original text of this article (written for Positif) was a strange, quixotic and associative reading of Powell and Pressburger (amongst other things). Salmon has done a great job preserving the essence of the piece whilst also giving it a spine of clarity. Miller's insightful introductions and encyclopedic notes give Durgnat's work a much needed scholarly and critical overview. Durgnat's prolific and magpie writing life often make it hard to delineate his thought and methodology. This book lays it out straight. Well worth a look.

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