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

Ellar Coltrane Speaks Of Growing Up On Screen In 'Boyhood'

Film director Richard Linklater's latest movie, Boyhood, was shot over 12 years. NPR's Tamara Keith speaks with the star of the film, Ellar Coltrane, who's spent over a decade shooting the movie.
NPR

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.
NPR

What Can $100 Million Buy You — Besides An Election In Kentucky?

Campaign spending on the Kentucky Senate race could reach $100 million. So what can that get you in the Bluegrass State? NPR's Tamara Keith finds out when she calls up some local business owners.
NPR

Tech Week: Google's World Cup Play, Amazon Sued And Kids Tracked

Also in this week's roundup, a tech company that may not exist, using sensors to keep your plants alive and what the debate over sandwich taxonomy teaches us about innovation.

Leave a Comment

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