At Last Michael Reeves: An Investigative Memoir of the Acclaimed Filmmaker
eBook (PDF), 116 Pages
At Last Michael Reeves is a memoir, by his last girlfriend, of the acclaimed young filmmaker Michael Reeves, director of 'Witchfinder General', who died in 1969 aged 25. The book investigates the circumstances of Michael's death and is also a moving, intensely personal, sad and funny memoir of London in the late 1960s.
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Oct 15, 2009"Intimate Memoir " JOHN B. MURRAY This is a must-read for fans of the brilliant movie director Michael Reeves. It provides essential glimpses of what he was like as a boyfriend. The focus is on his personality rather than his films, which is just what some fans of movies like "Witchfinder General" want to know more about. Especially as his previous long-term girlfriend, here discreetly referred to as 'A..', maintains a dignified silence about her relationship with him, despite the impertinent attentions of Reeves biographers such as myself. (The most I was able to glean from her for my 2002 book was a courteous letter requesting a couple of deletions, with which I complied.) Ingrid Cranfield's painfully honest recollections (backed up by contemporaneous notes) also shed much-needed light on the events leading up to his dreadful loss and provide the strongest argument yet that his death was not a suicide, despite the persistent rumours that it was. I met Ingrid a... More > couple of years ago when she learned of my book "The Remarkable Michael Reeves", in which she is regrettably not mentioned. I was astonished to learn of her connection to Michael Reeves, as no one had ever mentioned her to me, even people I interviewed who had met her with Michael. I can only assume that the passage of time had dimmed memories. In person, she exhibited the same wry humour and insight into personality that is evident throughout her book. I remember being struck when she said to me that Michael reminded her of some explorers she had known: that some people are just born with wider horizons than the rest of us....I had hoped to gain a formal interview with her for a future revision of my book but she expressed a desire to write her own memoir, as she has written and edited books in other fields. I immediately saw the potential value of this and encouraged her, mainly because I wanted to read it myself! The result has exceeded my expectations. The book provides not only new memories of Michael Reeves and further insight into his character but also a warm and engaging portrait of life in 'Swinging London' for an attractive young girl about town, for whom life is not as ideal as some of her many male admirers might have supposed. Ingrid writes of her young self and her suitors with the same compassion and humour that she devotes to portraying Michael's character. And we learn much of what she expected from men and relationships. The result is that the account of Ingrid's own history and personality very much illuminates the unfolding of her relationship with Michael. The book also contains the full text of a heartbreakingly sad letter to Ingrid from Michael's mother, Elizabeth Reeves, following his death, and I defy any reader not to find it very moving. To think it was a chance viewing of a television broadcast of "Witchfinder General" in 2004 that led to Ingrid's unearthing of this unique piece of Reeves memorabilia, which is very important for film fans in confirming (from his mother's own hand) that the pessimism so apparent in his work was deeply entrenched in his own being. Ingrid's book forms a wonderful coda to the two biographies of Michael Reeves published to date (mine and Benjamin Halligan's excellent 2003 book "Michael Reeves"). Doubtless there will be more books in the future, he was that special, but they will struggle to achieve the intimacy demonstrated in "At Last Michael Reeves"....unless 'A..' one day has a change of heart and writes her own memoir.< Less
Dec 15, 2007"A great read" I found myself whipping through this memoir at a mighty rate. I was fascinated by the glimpse into Michael's and into Ingrid's lives. I felt it was a very well executed portrait of both of them - very honest and full of interesting detail.
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- Ingrid Cranfield (Standard Copyright License)
- Ingrid Cranfield
- September 30, 2011
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