From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Andrew Sarris (October 31, 1928 – June 20, 2012) was an American film critic, a leading proponent of the auteur theory of criticism. He is generally credited with popularising this theory in the Americas and coining the half-English, half-French term, "auteur theory," in his essay, "Notes on the Auteur Theory," which was inspired by critics writing in the French film magazine Cahiers du cinéma.
He wrote book The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968, published in 1968, an opinionated assessment of films of the sound era, organized by director. The book was influential on other critics and helped raise an awareness of the role of the film director among the general public.
For many years he wrote for The Village Voice, and it was during this part of his career that he was often seen as a rival to Pauline Kael, who had originally attacked the auteur theory in her essay, "Circles and Squares". He continues to write film criticism today for The New York Observer, and is a professor at Columbia University, his alma mater. Sarris was a co-founder of the National Society of Film Critics.
He was married to fellow film critic, Molly Haskell.
- The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968
- Confessions of a Cultist: On the Cinema, 1955-1969
- The Primal Screen
- Politics And Cinema
- The John Ford Movie Mystery
- You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet: The American Talking Film – History and Memory, 1927-1949