Posted by: ckckred | June 22, 2012

Andrew Sarris: 1928-2012

One of the most famous critics of all time died this Wednesday

When I heard Andrew Sarris died, I didn’t know what to think.  Sarris is one of the most influential film critics of all time, and has certainly made a great impact on the movie industry.  He died at the age of 83 this Wednesday, and once I heard this news I didn’t know what to feel like.

Sarris was known for his legendary film criticism.  He enthroned some of the greatest directors of all time, like Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder, while criticizing some other greats, including Stanley Kubrick and David Lean.

What really made Sarris a great film critic was his courage in writing.  I disagree with his assessment with Stanley Kubrick, who’s my favorite director of all time, but he delivered criticism and praise to films that people viewed as unimaginable at the time.  An example would be Psycho, Sarris’ first review in The Village Voice, which he gave great praise and declared Hitchcock the greatest avant garde director working.  Today, everyone would agree with Sarris’ review.  But back then, it created great outrage and controversy.

There are many things I could tell you about Sarris’ history: how he worked at Cahiers du Cinema with some critics who eventually became directors, such as Jean-Luc Godard.  He eventually came to work at The Village Voice, where his reviews became mainstream.  And of course, there’s his famous feud with rival film critic Pauline Kael.

Without Sarris, film criticism would be very different.  Many critics have cited him as an influence, including A. O. Scott and Michael Phillips.  So thank you Sarris for all of what you have done to the film criticism world.  May you rest in peace.

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Responses

  1. I feel sad that I hadn’t heard of him until Roger Ebert put the notice that he’d died up on his site…:/

    • He’s a great film critic and one of the reasons why I wanted to start a movie blog.

      Thanks for commenting.


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