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Mike Wilmington

By Mike Wilmington Wilmington@moviecitynews.com

Wilmington on Movies: Andrew Sarris (1928-2012)

 

ANDREW SARRIS  (1928-2012)

Andy Sarris was my favorite movie critic because, in The American Cinema, he opened up a world for me, for all of us. That’s what a good critic, or a great one, does. Others opened doors as well, but Andy (no one I knew called him “Andrew”) opened it first and opened it wide– and took some lumps for doing it.

I don’t think everything in his book is gospel, or that auteurism doesn’t have some mistakes or misconceptions. I like every much some directors he at first low-rated (Lean, Wilder, Curtiz, Kazan). I feel he sometimes short-shrifted screenwriters in general. But what a world it was he gave us: from Hawks to Hitchcock, from Renoir to Rossellini, from Stanley Donen to Fritz Lang, from John Ford to Budd Boetticher to Chaplin to Ophuls to Orson Welles (“Rosebud!”) He gave us a great screening list, and a great companionable literary spirit to share it all with. And he could always revise his opinions — which I often wish he’d done for us, every five years. That would have been something to look forward to. Thanks Andy. Best to Molly. Goodbye, pal.

 

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Lola Montes (Max Ophuls)

Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)

 Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)

The Searchers (John Ford)

2 Responses to “Wilmington on Movies: Andrew Sarris (1928-2012)”

  1. Donald Cohen says:

    i bought The American Cinema when I was 20 and found it a great doorway into chasing up the films of the directors Andrew Sarris admired. Yes, he neglected some very gifted filmmakers but he argued intelligently and he’ll always be respected.
    i loved the his battles with Pauline Kael. Almost as enjoyable as some of the films.
    Cheers Don Cohen

  2. ycherrs says:

    Yes, he will always be respected and remembered. Good bye Andrew Sarris!

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“The purpose of film isn’t to present the kindness of the world.”
~ Isabelle Huppert

The Promised Land steers into the fact that the United States can mean whatever people want it to mean. You may not be able to be Elvis, but you can sure as shit impersonate him for a living. America, like its current President (at least as of this article’s publication), is so dangerous precisely because it’s a blank canvas on which anyone can project their dreams. Whatever it is that you see for yourself, there’s someone you can pay for the pleasure of believing that it’s possible. In his view, the pursuit of happiness is the ultimate con, a delusion that prevents us from seeing our circumstances for what they are.

“Forget the Matrix, it’s the invention of happiness that blinded us to the truth. The rich got richer and the poor help them do it. Jarecki doesn’t argue that the American Dream is dead; he argues that it was never alive in the first place — that we were all lobsters in a pot full of water that was boiling too slowly for any of us to notice. And now it’s time for dinner. Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States. Elvis has left the building.”
~ David Ehrlich