Just nauseating. Andrew Sarris was born on October 31, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. And, Sarris demonstrated, the Great Ones had themes that repeated film-to-film. His pithy eloquence was expressed not only in the pages of the papers he wrote for but in several books debunking reputations and encouraging critical reappraisal. The editors instead embraced Mr. Sarris as a controversialist; argument was like mother’s milk at The Village Voice. If Ms. Kael more often won points as the high stylist, Mr. Sarris was cerebral and analytic, interested always in the totality of a film’s effect on its audience and in the sweep of a director’s career. Sorry to hear Andrew Sarris passed away today, 20th June 2012. She and Mr. Sarris lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. “We were cowed into thinking that only European cinema mattered,” Mr. Scorsese, who once shared a closet-size office in Times Square with Mr. Sarris, said in a 2009 interview. Invariably, he’d have been at a screening of a film he was going to review (for this very paper), so we kept our grumbling to a minimum. He turned us all on, either to directors we hadn’t yet heard of, or films of theirs we didn’t even know existed. Not me. Courtly, incisive and acerbic in equal measure, Mr. Sarris came of critical age in the 1960s as the first great wave of foreign films washed ashore in the United States. And then, it was just like one of those grubby Film Noir or detective stories he made middlebrow America finally take seriously. Cultural Commerce Robert Downey – Sr.’s – Budget-Busting Ego-Booster by The Village Voice Archives December 23, 2019. Film criticism had reached a heady pitch amid the cultural upheavals of that time, and Mr. Sarris’s temperament fit that age like a glove on a fencer’s hand. But his concerns lay elsewhere. I think that’s a much more honest depiction of the way Americans are.’. If, as a screenwriter, you were to write a treatment of Andrew Sarris’s life, you’d have two riveting plot points to spin the story around. This tickled him. Prize Winner in Criticism in 1987: Richard Eder of Los Angeles Times. He returned to live with his mother — his father had died — in Queens, passing his post-college years in “flight from the laborious realities of careerism,” as he put it. And it’d make you immortal.”. He dared to suggest, to our timid, British-bootlicking country, that American directors and the films – make that movies – they made, might be just as important as those by gentleman who wore white silk scarves, berets, and whispered “Action!” in Swedish, French, or Italian. John Ford’s men, for instance, all-too-casually rewrote history to make cowards and martinets great men. Or did you just say that, because you knew someday, they’d use the quote on the cover of the videocassette? With his famous “Pantheon List” Sarris did something equally groundbreaking. The Theory said, in essence, that no matter who was working on a film — the most famous DP, charismatic movie star, producer or Foley artist, whose gunshot sounds were unmistakable — it was The Director’s Voice (or was that fingerprints?) He disappeared from us – suddenly – in 1984, struck down by an unholy, unnamed disease that nearly killed him, rendered him paralyzed, a full-blown amnesiac and nearly ground his beloved wife, film critic Molly Haskell, into dust. But with typically Sarrisian insight, he also genuinely enjoyed Psycho II. Although I hate the fact of anyone I love dying, Professor Sarris got lucky in this regard. Letter writers demanded that the editors sack this philistine. He patted me affectionately on the shoulder and walked out, without giving me a verbal response. Dreams (Ingmar Bergman) 06. In 1960, Mekas, at that time a film reviewer for The Village Voice, asked Sarris to substitute for him. It didn’t matter anyway, because, he had just seen some hot, highly-anticipated new property, that wouldn’t be out for a few days. A star actor might transcend a prosaic film, Mr. Sarris said, but only a director could bring to bear the coherence of vision that gives birth to great art. And I never saw him again. August 1960. They agreed on just a single point, that film was art worthy of sustained thought and argumentation. The article became the first of many, and Sarris continued to write for the Voice for nearly thirty years. But he was restless. I actually think I’m physically ill.” Or, “I apologize for not being here on time. Andrew Sarris, who died today, at the age of eighty-three, is the one indispensable American film critic. He died on June 20, 2012 in Manhattan, New York City. Auteurism originated in the French film criticism of the late 1940s as a value system that derives from the film criticism approach of André Bazin and Alexandre Astruc—dubbed auteur theory by the American critic Andrew Sarris. Andrew Sarris, Village Voice Film Critic, Dies at 83, The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968. He was 27, which he described as “a dreadfully uncomfortable age for a middle-class cultural guerrilla.”, In 1960, this self-consciously bourgeois man persuaded the editors of the The Village Voice to let him review films. For his book reviews. “We’re performers, have been for two decades. (Village Voice) (Note: this list is credited to "Andrew Harris," but I'm [MQD] sure it was a typo...Sarris had not yet begun his long stint as the VOICE's film critic) 01. He quickly asserted his intellectual writ; in his first review he tossed down the gauntlet in defense of Alfred Hitchcock and “Psycho.”, “Hitchcock is the most daring avant-garde filmmaker in America today,” Mr. Sarris wrote. For his film criticism. "When worlds collide, someone has to take the slide. “Besides making previous horror films look like variations of ‘Pollyanna,’ ‘Psycho’ is overlaid with a richly symbolic commentary on the modern world as a public swamp in which human feelings and passions are flushed down the drain.”. To praise a commercial director like Mr. Hitchcock in the haute bohemian pages of The Voice was calculated incitement. Sorry to hear Andrew Sarris passed away today, 20th June 2012. Finalist: Andrew Sarris of The Village Voice. If such a catastrophe has indeed occurred, I disclaim all responsibility. He was married to Molly Haskell. By the time this review appears in print, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange may have won the best movie award from both the New York Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics, two eminently judicial groups to which your humble reviewer belongs. Told once that Mr. Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” worked better under the influence of marijuana, he cadged a joint, went to the movie and found it a very different and agreeable experience. He’d mention a contemporary actress, who’d had a flop or two and say, blithely, ‘Oh, she’s finished.’ He told us the reason “Kael” (he never gave his female filmic Lex Luthor a first name) was ‘Always championing new trash, like De Palma, because she missed the real trash the first time around. ", “It’s a make-it-or-break-it period for us. The Linked Data Service provides access to commonly found standards and vocabularies promulgated by the Library of Congress. Then laughed in that high, inscrutable way of his. 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