June 20, 2012

FAMED FILM CRITIC DIES AT 83

Andrew Sarris, one of the nation’s most influential film critics and a champion of auteur theory, which holds that a director’s voice is central to great filmmaking, died on Wednesday morning in Manhattan. He was 83. His wife, the film critic Molly Haskell, said the cause was complications of an infection developed after a fall.

Courtly, incisive and acerbic in equal measure, Mr. Sarris came of critical age in the 1960s as the first great wave of foreign films washed ashore in the United States. From his perch at The Village Voice, and later at The New York Observer, he wrote searchingly of that glorious deluge and the directors behind it — Fran?ois Truffaut, Marcel Ophuls, Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa.

Film criticism had reached a heady pitch amid the cultural upheavals of that time, and Mr. Sarris’s temperament fit that age like a glove on a fencer’s hand.

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