Donald Richie, American author, journalist, critic and expert on Japan, dies at 88.
Smilingly excluded here in Japan, politely stigmatised, I can from my angle attempt only objectivity, since my subjective self will not fit the space I am allotted . . . how fortunate I am to occupy this niche with its lateral view. In America I would be denied this place. I would live on the flat surface of a plain. In Japan, from where I am sitting, the light falls just right – I can see the peaks and valleys, the crags and crevasses.
-- from The Japan Journals, 1947-2004[more inside]
Chris Marker, director of La Jetée and Sans Soleil, among many others, and co-writer of 12 Monkeys, has died at age 91. English obit. French obit. Article on Chris Marker in the Guardian from 2002. Another appreciation from 2002. La Jetée on YouTube. Previously. Previouslier.
RIP Andrew Sarris, the legendary film critic who popularized the auteur theory in the United States, sparred with arch-rival Pauline Kael, and helped define American film criticism. [more inside]
George Kuchar dies. Bronx-born underground filmmaker George Kuchar, whose was created in semi-collaboration with his twin brother Mike, has passed away. [more inside]
Dede Allen, editor of such films as Bonnie and Clyde, Dog Day Afternoon and Night Moves has died at the age of 86.
"Hitch was always trying to push the limits on techniques and to be different". Cary Grant chased by a crop-duster plane in a corn field; Janet Leigh screaming in the shower; Tippi Hedren attacked by killer seagulls. The man behind lens? Leonard J. South (1914-2006) , Hitchcock's camera operator. More inside.
eddie bracken, 1940s slapstick comedian, passed on over the weekend. the star of hail the conquering hero and the controversial miracle of morgan's creek, bracken was often regarded as the onscreen alter ego of pioneering writer/director preston sturges. unfortunately, he correctly predicted that his appearance at film forum would be his last.
Director John Frankenheimer is dead. I don't want to make this out to be one of those "random celebrity dies and is suddenly hailed as a genius" things, but Frankenheimer's made quite a few damn good movies (and, yes, some bad ones). While his later works weren't nearly as great as some of his earlier films, his gift for filming action never went away: his 1998 film Ronin wound up on several lists of the "best car chases on film". He was supposed to helm the upcoming Exorcist prequel, but failing health forced him to step aside. Despite the dodgy source material, I would have really liked to see Frankenheimer's take on it. He'll be missed.