The New Bedford Whaling Museum's Moby-Dick Marathon is an annual non-stop reading of Herman Melville's literary masterpiece. The multi-day program of entertaining activities and events is presented every January. Admission to the Marathon is free.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Andrew Sarris, 1928-2012

The exhilarating film culture of the sixties and seventies would have been much less so without the informed insights of Andrew Sarris, who died yesterday. His column in the Village Voice was the reason I subscribed. (If I recall correctly, his review of a Woody Allen movie bore the headline: "What more do you want, and who else is even trying?") Scan the titles in this compilation of over forty years of Sarris Top Ten lists and dream of a time when movies mattered.

His influential survey, The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968, mentioned John Huston's film of Moby-Dick, unflatteringly, in the chapter Less Than Meets the Eye:
The turning point in Huston's career was probably Moby Dick. In retrospect, he should have acted Ahab himself and let Orson Welles direct. This was his one gamble with greatness, and he lost, and like the cagey poker player he is, he has been playing it cool and corrupt ever since.
Just reporting, not agreeing; although the idea of a Welles-directed M-D is such stuff as dreams are made on.

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