Archive for June 20th, 2012

Legendary Film Critic Andrew Sarris Dead at 83

The great film critic Andrew Sarris, who was instrumental in popularizing auteur theory in America, has died of a stomach virus at the age of 83 at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.

It’s difficult to overstate the impact Sarris had on the way this country sees movies. Inspired by Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Goddard and other writers for the French film journal Cahier du Cinema, Sarris penned an essay in 1962, “Notes on the Auteur Theory,” that championed the then controversial idea that directors were the sole authors of movies. Prior to Sarris and his numerous followers, Americans would talk about, say, “Dial M for Murder” as a Grace Kelly movie, not a Alfred Hitchcock film. Or, to put it in more recent terms, without Sarris, “Jaws” would be known as a Richard Dreyfuss movie, not a Steven Spielberg flick. So if you have ever talked about a filmmaker’s “oeuvre,” referred to “Pulp Fiction” as a Quentin Tarantino movie or geeked out on thematic similarities of one David Cronenberg movie with another, you can thank Sarris for that. Continue reading ‘Legendary Film Critic Andrew Sarris Dead at 83’

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