“I hate to see the magazine fold. There is so little intelligent writing about films, so little that walks delicately but surely between the avant garde type, which is largely a reflection of neuroticism, and the deadly commercial stuff. I think you have been a little too hard at times on English films, which even when not top notch do give you the feeling of moving around in a civilised world – something which the Hollywood product falls pretty short of as a rule. Even if you had been less intelligent, I should be sorry to see you go. Sight and Sound is all very well so far as it goes. I suppose it is subsidised, and everything that is subsidised compromises, and everything that compromises ends up by being negative."
|Sequence covers, ready to go up as part of an exhibition at Stirling Uni ©Lindsay Anderson Archive, University of Stirling|
It's disappointing the letter isn't in the Lindsay Anderson Archive but then it would be impossible for an archive collection ever to be 'complete'. Maybe the letter is in the archive of one of the other founders of Sequence (Gavin Lambert's papers are at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Centre in Boston) , maybe it ended up with someone else who was a fan of Chandler, or maybe it just got lost of misplaced at some point before the collection arrived at the University. We'll never know I suppose.
Interestingly, there is a mention of Raymond Chandler in the Sequence series of the Lindsay Anderson Archive. It's in section LA/4/1/6 'Letters from readers and subscribers to Sequence' and is a letter from J. B. Priestley to a Mr Panting and my catalogue description reads
Thanks for sending a copy of Sequence; and expressing interest in an article on Raymond Chandler.It's dated 30/05/1949 so I wonder if there was an article in Sequence which discussed Raymond Chandler's writing, either novels or screen writing, or a film adaptation of one of his books. Mr. Panting seems an odd name but I seem to remember that the authors of Sequence would sometimes write under pseudonyms. I know from the Raymond Chandler Papers that Chandler knew Priestley, but I don't know when from - the earliest mention of Priestley in the book is from 1951. I'm going to have delve a bit further into this sometime, starting with another good look through Sequence - a good excuse for a visit to the new BFI library at Southbank!