Sadly, the brilliant film critic, Andrew Sarris, has died at 83. I read Sarris's reviews in the Village Voice in the '70s, and later in the New York Observer. Remembering buying the Voice then and turning to his reviews lifts me back into those days in my life.
He was the best of critics, whose love of film was evident in all his reviews. Not only did he have a life-long love affair with film, but also with another film critic, his wife, Molly Haskell.
Sarris helped introduce the New Wave French films and other foreign classics to the US, championing François Truffaut, Max Ophuls, Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa.
The auteur theory he advanced portrayed the film director as artists as central to their creation as artists and novelists in their media. But he wasn't an elitist. According to the Times, "he recalled sitting through four dozen showings of “Gone With the Wind,” as besotted with Vivien Leigh on the 48th viewing as on the first."
Unlike Rhett, when it came to film, he gave a damn.