It’s a great loss to the film criticism community. Sarris’ “The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968” remains a classic work of must-read critical thought.
He worked at the Village Voice for almost 30 years. Upon news of his death, The Voice posted highlights of Sarris’ work, including one of his notorious slaps at Pauline Kael.
The New York Times notes in its obituary of Andrew Sarris:
Mr. Sarris played a major role in introducing Americans to European auteur theory, the idea that a great director speaks through his films no less than a master novelist speaks through his books. A star actor might transcend a prosaic film, Mr. Sarris said, but only a director could bring to bear the coherence of vision that gives birth to great art.