Influential film critic Andrew Sarris, who helped introduce a generation of American moviegoers to Europe’s new wave of directors in the 1960s and ’70s, died last week at the age of 83. His works greatly heightened awareness of the role of the film director. In his famous 1962 essay “Notes on the Auteur Theory,” he bought the term “auteur” (originated by the pioneering French critics of Cahier du Cinema into the American vernacular). His 1968 book, “The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968,” brought attention to American studio directors and discovered the authorship of their works (a theory that never had been put forward before, since they were mainly employed as directors for hire). With contemporaries like Pauline Kael, with whom he famously feuded in print about a number of films, he championed such international directors as Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman, and Hollywood veteran directors such as Howard Hawks, John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock. He also helped champion a new generation of filmmakers in the 1970s, including Robert Altman and Martin Scorsese.
First-time director Maya Forbes uses her life story to craft a poignant tale of growing up with a manic depressive, father in Boston. Mark Ruffalo (“Foxcatcher”) delivers an Oscar-quality performance as Cam Stuart, the “polar bear”-a child’s way of saying … Continue reading
Under the Dome is a film by Chinese journalist Chai Jing that focuses on China’s flawed environmental regulations and the devastating effect its having on the nation’s people. What makes this film so powerful is it was released in Communist … Continue reading
It takes a New York native and NYU Film School graduate to capture the marginalized world of two black transgender prostitutes (“trannies”) living on the seedy streets of Los Angeles. Sean Baker, who directed and co-wrote this authentic tale, shot … Continue reading