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Film Critic and Scholar Andrew Sarris

Sarris reviews movies for several newspapers and teaches at Columbia University. In the 1960s, he pushed forth the auteur theory, which said that films could best be understood by the director's singular vision within the context of their full body of work. Now, he often finds genre films more interesting than mainstream movies that explore important ideas.


The Best and Worst Movies of 1988

Film critic Stephen Schiff talks with Terry Gross about this years movies. He says 1988 was an unusually good year for American films, though his favorite Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar. His least favorite movie was Willow.


New Yorker Film Critic Says, "Good Movies Never Make You Feel Virtuous"

Every three years or so, a collection of Pauline Kael's movie reviews are collected into a book. Her forthcoming anthology is called Hooked. Kael believes film once served as a kind of common culture, and bemoans the fragmentation of movie audiences. She joins Fresh Air to talk about the state of the film industry and the changing tastes and expectations of audiences.


Leonard Maltin on Advancing Film Criticism.

Film Critic Leonard Maltin. Some TV viewers know him for his segments on "Entertainment Tonight," but he is perhaps as well known for his reference book Leonard Maltin's TV Movies and Video Guide.


Confusing Tear-Jerkers for Art

Film critic Stephen Schiff believes that the proliferation of film critics on television, whose insights he believes are often superficial, has led moviegoers to believe that emotional manipulation is the sole criterion for great cinema.


Watching Movies at Home

Film critic Roger Ebert returns to Fresh Air to discuss the impact VCRs and the home video market has affected an audience's movie watching habits--a topic he explores in the book Roger Ebert's Movie Home Companion. The newest iteration of his television show with fellow critic Gene Siskel is called At the Movies. Fresh Air listeners call in with their questions.


Pauline Kael on Film in the Eighties.

Pauline Kael is one of the country's most preeminent film critics. She came to the profession in her mid 40s after working in radio and owning a movie theater. She has written for New York Magazine since 1968, and her reviews have been collected in published in book since 1965. Her latest book is "State of the Art."


A Film Critic's Career

A collection of Roger Ebert's essays is called A Kiss is Just A Kiss. He co-hosts the television show At the Movies with fellow critic and professional rival Gene Siskel.


Film Critic Judith Crist

The writer has a new book called Take 22, which features interviews with notable filmmakers. She says her critical approach has become more populist in recent years. She has also grown more interested in learning about a director's intent, which she takes into consideration when gauging a film's success or failure.

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