Many people influence our education in movies. It might be somebody who we talk to about films, somebody who we see films with or somebody who recommends films to us. I wrote some time back about the influence of Jim Kitses on my own early film appreciation. Sadly, I learned today that another of the great influences on my film life - critic Tom Milne - passed away three years ago. I can't claim to have known Tom very well but I did meet him on many occasion and was on first name terms with him. Our first meetings were professional and but I think Tom recognised that my love of films went far beyond the business side of things. I was in my late teens when I first met Tom Milne and was already a big fan of his film criticism (he was at the time editing the MONTHLY FILM BULLETIN at the British Film Institute) and was flattered that somebody I saw as a celebrity seemed eager to discuss movies with me whenever we met.
Tom loved all types of movies from the horror films of James Whale to the chamber pieces of Carl Dreyer. His enthusiasm for the whole film medium was infectious. It was after watching VAMPYR and knowing that Tom had been a consultant on the Masters of Cinema series and a particular fan of Dreyer that I decided to find out what he was doing these days. Almost immeadiatley I found a tribute page to him. Tom was a lovely man and I wish I'd known him better than I did, but I feel lucky to have known him at all. Some of his colleagues have posted tributes and memories of the man that are both moving and amusing and give a good picture of Tom's wide ranging tastes, please take some time to read some of them at : http://www.mastersofcinema.org/tommilne.htm