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June 20, 2012


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David Ehrenstein

Very deeply saddened. A marvelous film critic and a very nice man.


There were critics who got more attention (Kael, Ebert, Farber) but none really had Sarris' influence when it came to changing how American audiences thought about movies.


I have to admit I was more inclined towards Kael than Sarris, but there's no denying he was, in addition to everything else, a very good writer.


What Mr. Ehrenstein said. He was as intelligent and approachable in person as he was in prose.


I received a call from a friend recently telling me to be ready for this but it doesn't make it any easier to hear.

Bruce Reid

The time and place I grew up, I had to read about many more films than I had the opportunity to actually see. So many of the films I fell in love with were, for years, only descriptions on the page, a high-contrast still or two, and the passion of a writer convincing me I had to track this down somehow. Two of the great, tantalizing tomes I pored over were The American Cinema and Film as a Subversive Art. It's been a hell of a year.


Petey's Auteur Theory:

In 400 years, due to gaps in the historical record, a robust debate will have broken out about who REALLY directed Hitchcock's movies.

While the majority of scholarship will insist that Hitchcock indeed was the director, a minority will dissent that a hammy actor like Hitchcock, (many of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV shows will have survived), not to mention the son of a greengrocer, could not have actually been responsible for the great films.

Among the dissenters, the two main factions will divide between those who believe that Jean-Luc Godard was the REAL director, and those who believe it was Andrew Sarris.

Chris L.

A singular voice of wisdom, dignity and good humor. Sorely to be missed.

From what a distant outsider could glean, the "great rivalry" always seemed a bit one-sided in Sarris' favor. But one would have had to be there to appreciate fully. At times like this, I wish I had been.

David Ehrenstein

What was one-sided about it was the fact that Pauline wouldn't admit to being an auteurist herself. She just liked different auteurs: Huston instead of Hawks and Brian DePalma instead of almost everyone.

Pete Segall

All I'd like to add is that in the brief and very limited capacity that I knew him in a professional setting 12 or 13 years ago, he was unfailingly kind and warm. It did not take him long to convey a sense of caring - and this was a setting where it certainly wasn't necessary on his part to do so.

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