Alexander Walker has died

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Alexander Walker has died

Postby Gaz » Tue Jul 15, 2003 11:31 am

One of the greatest ever British writers on film - his absence will certainly be felt here in the UK.

LONDON (Reuters) - Film critic Alexander Walker, who became one of Britain's most influential cinema writers in a career spanning 40 years, has died, his newspaper says.

Walker, 73, fell ill earlier this summer and died while having tests for cancer at a clinic in London.

He earned a reputation as an outspoken critic and fell out with director Ken Russell, who hit him with a newspaper after Walker described his 1971 film "The Devils" as "monstrously indecent".

He spent 43 years at London's Evening Standard newspaper and wrote more than 20 film books, including the official biography of comic actor Peter Sellers.

"He was much more than a film critic," director Anthony Minghella, who is chairman of the British Film Institute, said on Tuesday. "He was a champion for quality cinema in this country."

He was friends with reclusive film director Stanley Kubrick and was close to big Hollywood names such as Clint Eastwood and Katharine Hepburn.

Walker won the British Press Awards critic of the year prize three times.

His love of cinema began during his childhood in Northern Ireland, where he watched countless films. He said Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" changed his view of cinema and remained his favourite film for life.

"I never make snap judgements," the Standard quoted him as once saying. "I let it stew."

Re: Alexander Walker has died

Postby john-5 » Tue Jul 15, 2003 6:16 pm

Yes, a very knowledgeable and perceptive writer. I have a fine book by him on Kubrick, whom he admired greatly. But he was also much too reactionary, politically, too often a repressive moraliser, for my liking. Still, there aren't many writers of his expertise to fill his place.

Re: Alexander Walker has died

Postby Gaz » Wed Jul 16, 2003 6:15 pm

I didn't always agree with his views myself - I suppose you could say he was our Paline Kael.

Re: Alexander Walker has died

Postby Gaz » Wed Jul 16, 2003 6:16 pm

Or Pauline, even.

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