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June 10, 2009


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Matthias Galvin


He's the reason I own The Earrings of Madame De...
He's the reason I made the jump to watching for the "third circle" as well.
He's the reason I (had) read The New York Observer
He's the reason I am skeptical of my own opinions before I write them down.
He's the reason I understand Pauline Kael.
He's the reason.

Bless you, Andrew.

Ryan Kelly

A tragic, heartbreaking, devastating shame. My generation especially has no voices as important as Sarris, and we don't exactly have an abundance of thoughtful criticism in the mainstream press these days.

Maybe he'll blog? Now that would be something.

R. Hunt

Couldn't have been said better. Anyone who loves American movies is in his debt. In this age where film history is constantly being rewritten by AFI tv specials and whatever Wal-Mart chooses to stack, where the word "classic" is casually applied to the likes of "Caddyshack", "Top Gun" and "Staying Alive" (all recent examples I've encountered), we owe Sarris for resurrecting the likes of Ford, Hawks, Sturges and Ray when the Hollywood studios were ready to banish their own libraries to the limbo of late-night tv. I hope some savvy website (like maybe one that takes it's name from a Vincente Minelli film?) can find a place for him.

Rodrigo Rothschild

He's the reason I worship Eric Rohmer

Emlem Gross

He's the reason I love K-Pax!


Jesus, people, he's unemployed, not DEAD!

That said, it is a shame he was let go. Print spirals ever closer to the drain with each decision like this.

Ray ormand

No, he's not dead, but something good is dead if he is not in print somewhere.

Tom Russell

What everyone else said.

Well, except for the K-Pax part.

I actually have a copy of Bazin's "What is Cinema" that I bought at an AAUW book sale that may have once belonged to Sarris. At least, it has his name and an address in New York written on the first page. The first chapter is scrawled with observations, arguments, comments in slightly smudged pencil.

I wrote Sarris an e-mail once asking if it was and if he wanted it back; I never got a reply (maybe it got marked as spam?). In retrospect, I'm kinda glad, actually-- I've come back to it many times, not for the Bazin but for the commentary. Again, I don't know if it was Sarris's or not, but the commentary in those margins was brilliant, opinionated, intellectually rigorous and engagingly passionate-- all qualities that I find in the criticism of Andrew Sarris.

Pete Segall

I worked for a bit at The Observer and had semi-regular dealings with Mr. Sarris, largely perfunctory and conducted over the phone - but even within those confines I found him gregarious and personable without fail. The thunderous import of his critical work aside, he's also a gentleman. I don't doubt that he'll find a new outlet, provided he wants one. The medium may be up for some debate but suffice it to say, this has been a rotten seven days for The Observer.

Stephen Cone

From Dave Kehr @ his blog:

"A clarification on the Andrew Sarris situation. He was released from his staff position at a failing newspaper, though he will continue to write freelance pieces, as Rex Reed currently does. He’s still teaching at Columbia, so income and insurance seem assured. The end of an era, certainly, but not a personal catastrophe for Andrew."


Maybe he'll Twitter!


I can't say this was unexpected. I haven't been able to find any recent reviews from him online for a number of months. Still a bit depressing, though.

Jeff McM

Pardon my ignorance, but what's this 'third circle'?


The Third Circle is in reference to his Auteur list? Pauline Kael's famous rejoinder is called "Circles and Squares"...

Matthias Galvin


The "third circle" was in reference to Sarris' Notes on Auteur Theory, and can be found here:


I made the error of calling it the "third" circle, when in fact, it's "interior circle".


Oh, give me a break. The man is 80 years old! How long is he supposed to go on? I know, I know. Kaufmann is, what, 95? How about these guys being generous and stepping aside to give someone else (read: young) a chance? Talk about narcissistic film critics!

Michael Powell

No need for your nose to look/feel red. The New York Observer has not made official that he is not writing there any longer--as Andrew told me

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