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Over the last century our sense of what a director is or should be has shifted from a functionary to an important part of a wider team to the artist in charge. But now, which casual viewer could tell you who directed prestige TV shows like The Sopranos or Breaking Bad? Who better to take us from Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock and Howard Hawks to Jane Campion, Stephen Frears and Spike Lee than David Thomson, described by the Booker-winner John Banville as “the greatest writer on cinema”? David Thomson will be in conversation with The Film Programme presenter, Francine Stock.
Born and raised in London, David Thomson taught Film Studies at Dartmouth College. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times and Independent. He is the acclaimed author of one of the greatest books on cinema, The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, plus Rosebud – The Story of Orson Welles; The Whole Equation – A History of Hollywood; and Sleeping with Strangers – How the Movies Shaped Desire. He lives in San Francisco.
Francine Stock is a broadcaster, critic and writer who has fronted a range of arts and current affairs programmes for BBC TV and Radio including Newsnight and Front Row. Since 2004, she’s presented The Film Programme. Her published work includes novels, short stories, film criticism and a social history of cinema, In Glorious Technicolor. She’s been guest artistic director of the From Page to Screen festival and is a patron of Borderlines Film Festival.