ANDREW SARRIS THE AMERICAN CINEMA PDF

Share via Email Andrew Sarris succeeded in making Americans revalue the the talents of directors. If there were such a proposal, then Andrew Sarris, who has died aged 83 from complications after a fall, would be among the first to be honoured. The much-misused term "auteur" was applied mostly to film directors working as contractors for the Hollywood studios who, nevertheless, revealed their own distinctive style and personal vision. Hitherto, reviews were more focused on the stars, the plot and the genre rather than the director. As such, the history of American film criticism can be divided into before and after Sarris. The year-old Sarris became an unpaid reviewer for the magazine while working for the US Census Bureau.

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After initially writing for Film Culture , he moved to The Village Voice where his first piece—a laudatory review of Psycho —was published in Later he remembered, "The Voice had all these readers—little old ladies who lived on the West Side, guys who had fought in the Spanish Civil War—and this seemed so regressive to them, to say that Hitchcock was a great artist". The experience expanded his view of film criticism: "To show you the dividing line in my thinking, when I did a Top Ten list for the Voice in , I had a Stanley Kramer film on the list and I left off both Vertigo and Touch of Evil ".

The book would influence many other critics and help raise awareness of the role of the film director and, in particular, of the auteur theory. He also identified second—and third—tier directors, downplaying the work of Billy Wilder , David Lean , and Stanley Kubrick , among others. We established a dialectic. Sarris was a co-founder of the National Society of Film Critics. Film critics such as J. Scott have cited him as an influence.

Endlessly reviewing and revising his opinions, Sarris defended his original article "Notes on Auteur Theory" in The American Cinema stating: "the article was written in what I thought was a modest, tentative, experimental manner, it was certainly not intended as the last word on the subject".

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The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968, by Andrew Sarris

After initially writing for Film Culture , he moved to The Village Voice where his first piece—a laudatory review of Psycho —was published in Later he remembered, "The Voice had all these readers—little old ladies who lived on the West Side, guys who had fought in the Spanish Civil War—and this seemed so regressive to them, to say that Hitchcock was a great artist". The experience expanded his view of film criticism: "To show you the dividing line in my thinking, when I did a Top Ten list for the Voice in , I had a Stanley Kramer film on the list and I left off both Vertigo and Touch of Evil ". The book would influence many other critics and help raise awareness of the role of the film director and, in particular, of the auteur theory. He also identified second—and third—tier directors, downplaying the work of Billy Wilder , David Lean , and Stanley Kubrick , among others. We established a dialectic.

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Andrew Sarris

This was just before academic film studies, radical politics, drugs and diverse other developments splintered that community into separate and mainly non-communicating cliques and ghettos, accompanied by an intensification of studio promotion that eventually took infotainment beyond its status as a minor industry and into an arena where advertising was coming close to defining as well as monitoring the whole of film culture, thus phasing out individual voices -— or at the very least bunching them together in sound bites, pull quotes, bibliographies and adjectival ad copy. And occasionally representations of that lost community crop up in books such as this one, where academics ranging from John Belton to James Naremore to Elizabeth Weis , journalists from Roger Ebert to Leonard Maltin to Gerald Peary , programmers, distributors and producers including Geoffrey Gilmore, Daniel Talbot and James Schamus , and filmmakers including Robert Benton, Budd Boetticher, Peter Bogdanovich, Curtis Hanson and John Sayles are once again juxtaposed cheek by jowl, as they used to be in the pages of Film Culture —- as if they all still listened to one another. To be fair, sometimes they still do, and this book demonstrates how it can still happen —- and how Sarris could and can make it possible. My nostalgia for that era and lost community is personal as well as tribal.

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