Fresh Air Remembers Film Critic Andrew Sarris | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Fresh Air Remembers Film Critic Andrew Sarris

Play associated audio

This interview was originally broadcast on August 8, 1990.

Andrew Sarris, who popularized the auteur theory and was called the "dean of American film critics," died on Wednesday. He was 83.

In 1962, Sarris became the first American film critic to write about the auteur theory. That's the idea that the director of a movie is the person most responsible for it, and that movies can be better understood if they're seen in the context of a director's complete body of work.

Pauline Kael wrote a spirited critique of Sarris in 1963, and as another film critic observed, "Kael and Sarris' wrangle over the auteur theory had the excitement of politics and sport. The intensity of their debate lured people to see new films, and to see old movies in a new way."

Sarris spent decades writing about film for The Village Voice. He later became the film critic for The New York Observer and taught at Columbia, Yale, Juilliard, and New York University.

In 1990, he joined Terry Gross for a conversation about his career and the art of film criticism.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

U.S. Officials Believe North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack

The recent attack on Sony Pictures' computer network that resulted in a flood of confidential data has its origins in North Korea, U.S. intelligence officials say.
NPR

Japan's Butter Shortage Whips Its Cake Makers Into A Frenzy

For the Japanese, Christmastime means sponge cake. But a nationwide butter shortage has lead to mandatory butter rationing, forcing cake bakers to seek out substitutes.
NPR

Satanist And Christian Holiday Displays To Go Up At Michigan Capitol

The situation has brought controversy — and energized Christians who realized that a planned Nativity scene was in danger of being canceled.
NPR

U.S. Officials Believe North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack

The recent attack on Sony Pictures' computer network that resulted in a flood of confidential data has its origins in North Korea, U.S. intelligence officials say.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.