RIP Andrew Sarris
June 20, 2012 2:52 PM   Subscribe

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.

While in later years Sarris wrote for the New York Observer, his work and influence are commonly associated with his stint at The Village Voice, where his first published review was for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Further reading: Sarris' "Notes on Auteur Theory," and his Top Ten lists, 1958 - 2005.
posted by alexoscar (17 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, I am sad. I loved his work.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:56 PM on June 20, 2012

I have a well-thumbed copy of The American Cinema that has taught me a great deal about film. He is sorely missed.

posted by jonp72 at 3:00 PM on June 20, 2012

"That's O.K. [...] I'll go to Molly's next wedding."


posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:04 PM on June 20, 2012

posted by Obscure Reference at 3:07 PM on June 20, 2012

posted by Smart Dalek at 3:10 PM on June 20, 2012

posted by Mintyblonde at 3:20 PM on June 20, 2012

I had the pleasure of attending his classes at Columbia University Film School. I never met anyone more intelligent, passionate and insightful about films than Professor Sarris.
posted by joetrip at 3:27 PM on June 20, 2012

More obits & links at Keyframe Daily.
posted by muckster at 3:35 PM on June 20, 2012

It's sort of wonderful how right he was about Psycho right from the start -- but it's so right that I wonder if he influenced American film criticism so much that I had no hope but to think "Yes, he was exactly right about that movie from the get-go."

(even though, when it comes down to it, if I had to 'choose a side', I'd probably be a Pauline Kael acolyte but honestly don't know enough to know for sure)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:35 PM on June 20, 2012

I presume a director will write his epitaph. -@clmazin
posted by incessant at 3:42 PM on June 20, 2012

Thanks, muckster. I didn't realize David Hudson had finished putting together the obit links. That guy is the best.
posted by alexoscar at 3:46 PM on June 20, 2012

posted by trip and a half at 3:52 PM on June 20, 2012

Roger Ebert: Andrew Sarris, 1928-2012: In Memoriam.
posted by NoMich at 4:07 PM on June 20, 2012

In the 70s, growing up an hour from the nearest rep cinema -- but fortunate enough to catch the end of the late-night-movie era on TV before infomercials wiped it out -- Sarris and Hoberman and the rest of the Voice crew gave me a lifeline to classic movies that I would have to wait years to finally see, and insights into semi-obscure Hollywood jobbers that no-one else bothered to care about. Thursdays after school were all about running down to the drugstore to grab one of the three copies of the Voice that shipped up to our town. Thank God for Sarris, thank God for my friend Kevin who would often call me after Sarris lectured at Columbia, and thank God for the newsprint- and diesel-scented monochrome dreams he lent me in my youth.
posted by Kinbote at 4:26 PM on June 20, 2012

posted by Wolof at 4:52 PM on June 20, 2012

posted by From Bklyn at 10:13 PM on June 20, 2012

posted by Mental Wimp at 10:06 AM on June 21, 2012

« Older Ian Hacking introduces Thomas Kuhn fifty years on.   |   Welcome to AMERCIA! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments