I had a plan and all for what I was going to do today to come back from my one-day vacation, but then I stumbled into the news that Andrew Sarris passed away this morning at the age of 83, and it just seems that it would be in bad taste to pretend to my feeble version of “criticism” today.
Really, what can one say? He was, alongside Pauline Kael and Manny Farber, one of the three great gods who turned film criticism into an art form; anyone in America who has even the smallest inclination to auteurist readings of movies owes him a debt that cannot be calculated or repaid. He was, of all the film critics in history, the one who did the most to shape my own approach to understanding and discussing cinema, and for this I will always owe him my profoundest and most sincere and humblest thanks. He was the very best at what he did, and the world of cinephilia is worse off for his passing.
P.S. I see that there are like a hundred comments I haven’t replied to, but I’m seriously pretty shaken up right now. I’ll get to them, eventually.