Saturday 1 July 2017

Film critic Barry Norman dies aged 83

Years before I accidentally stumbled into media studies by way of an oversubscribed photography course in 1989. Starburst, Starlog and Barry Norman were my primary sources for film news and reviews.

Barry Norman was the UK's answer to Siskel & Ebert - before they were a thing - hosting the BBC's "Film..." from 1972 to 1998 before leaving for Sky Movies. The series continues to this day with Film 2017.

Norman was a compelling critic and mentor for film fans (myself included). I would religiously record the latest show on my folks' VCR and watch the following morning before school.

He described Star Wars, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, as an "utterly delightful romp" in 1977 and praised George Lucas' continued tinkering with the original trilogy as indicative of the organic nature of filmmaking.

His wise words will be sorely missed. However, generations of film fans will be forever grateful. RIP Barry Norman.

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