Film making is inevitably based on collaboration and often bogged down by compromise, yet the achievements of the great directors leave no doubt that the cinema is a supreme art form of the 20th century. Detailed analyses of scenes from well-known films, many of them Hollywood classics like "Psycho", show how film makers can tell a story and interpret the events at one and the same time. It is only when we understand the dual role of the camera as a ruthlessly realistic eye and creator of illusions that rational film criticism becomes possible.
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V. F. Perkins is a founder-member of the editorial board of Movie, a screenwriter, film critic and lecturer in film studies at the University of Warwick, where he headed the Joint School of Film and Literature for ten years from its inception in 1979.
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