RIP Andrew Sarris. America's finest film critic and theorist. A man who changed the face of how films are made and seen. He was a lovely and gracious gentleman whose brilliantly written books taught me more about film and how to think than anyone else. Reading his books and watching the films that he wrote about by the directors he championed were the best film school anyone could want. I used to sit in on his classes at Columbia and they were days that I'll always remember. It was a real highlight. He was very nice to this interloper. I told him that if movies are my religion, he's the pope....
|Andrew Sarris and I when I used to sit in on his classes at Columbia for a few years back in the 90's.|
"I consider Andrew Sarris to be one of the most fundamental and valued teachers," writes Martin Scorsese. "His writings led me to see the genius in American movies at a time when the cinema was considered a mindless form of entertainment, worthy of serious attention only if it came from Europe or Asia."
I will be doing a long form piece about this great man in the near future, there were tributes from all over today to this man. Below are some links to some of the very good ones that I read. A very nice piece ran in the Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy was posted today.
Roger Ebert wrote a nice piece also:
A nice piece from Richard Brody in The New Yorker:
This is a very good post on Fandor's site with lots of quotes from several top film writers:
Lastly there's a link from 2001 from the Columbia News celebrating the collection of essays by various writers including Martin Scorsese and 39 other contributors, Citizen Sarris:
As I remember upon meeting the excellent director Sam Fuller once, I asked him to autograph "the bible" Sarris's seminal book The American Cinema, and Fuller said "sure, this is a very good book..."
Upon reading the vast amounts of tributes today remembering this man's life and his contribution to movies as a serious art form, I can say that he was a true touchstone to mine and many other's lives.