Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Tribute: Movie Critic Stanley Kauffmann

posted by Nell Minow

The masterful critic Stanley Kauffman, whose writing career stretched over eight decades, died this week at age 97.  Adam Bernstein’s perceptive Kauffman obituary in the Washington Post noted: “He was one of the few critics who could watch a 1997 Broadway play featuring Christopher Plummer portraying the talented but troubled actor John Barrymore — and remember seeing Barrymore onstage shortly before his death in 1942.”  He was surely the last person writing about film who was watching films when they were still silent.  In his reviews for The New Republic and other publications and his books he took positions that were often at odds not just with popular taste (he didn’t like “Star Wars”) but also with other critics (he didn’t like “Taxi Driver”).  He didn’t try for wit and he was never snarky.  But he looked for the best that film could offer and when he found it he was enthusiastic about championing then-obscure filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Michelangelo Antonioni and Satyajit Ray.

Advertisement

Kauffmann was proudly literary in his tastes and in his own writing style.  I’m proud to be quoted in the obit:

“He was passionately engaged with film’s highest aspirations as an art form and was at his most eloquent when films were most complex,” said Nell Minow, an author and movie critic. “He educated generations of film-watchers and filmmakers about how and what to watch.”

He will be missed, but his influence will shine forth from every review and every film that tries harder and reaches further.

 

Previous Posts

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in "Big Game"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKThy0cipVA ...

posted 8:00:34am Apr. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Song from the Forest
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekirhw2MMwQ I was delighted to see that there is a documentary about Louis Sarno, whose work I have admired since I saw the wonderful film Oka! directed by Lavinia ...

posted 8:00:43am Apr. 24, 2015 | read full post »

The Age of Adaline
Be careful what you wish for.  You think it would be great to stay 29 forever?  Adaline (Blake Lively) finds out that it is not great to become unstuck from time, to watch everyone you love grow old and die, to hurt those you care about ...

posted 5:59:10pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

The Water Diviner
Before it detours into not one, not two, but at least three preposterous Hollywood twists, "The Water Diviner" is an absorbing drama about ...

posted 5:58:54pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Critics Write About Our First Encounters with Star Wars
The latest Criticwire survey asks for our first encounters with "Star Wars." I had a lot of fun writing about mine: A long, long time ...

posted 9:22:38am Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.