FURTHER LOSSES FOR CINEMA

TWO GIANTS LEAVE US AT AGE 84

Robert Osborne, whom I always thought of as the only man in the world who loved movies as much as I do, has died at age 84.  He was once described as a lightweight by a critic I had until then respected.  Robert Osborne was anything but.  He wrote popular history of popular movies, but his knowledge was encyclopedic.  His range  included all eras, all countries and all kinds of film.  His on-air one-paragraph description of the works of French master Robert Bresson was as profound and inclusive as some full-length books.

Thank you for it all, Mr. Osborne, and rest in peace.

Richard Schickel was for many years one of the profoundest of our film analysts.  He specialized in Hollywood directors and stars but had a vast knowledge of all film history.  His PBS series, The Men Who Made the Movies, was an early highlight in his long and productive critical life.

Schickel wrote the single best paragraph ever composed about the work of Judy Garland:  “In general, great performances, especially on film, seem to result from an inner tension, the tension created by raw energy and the performer’s control of that energy.  At her finest, Miss Garland, especially in her maturity, seems always about to be destroyed by her own inner forces.  It puts a quiver of passion in her voice and a chill in the listener’s spine.  At every moment of a Garland performance you feel that you stand with the star on the brink of disaster, and a hundred times a night she saves herself  —  and her sympathetic admirers  —  from the abyss.”  (The Stars.  Dial, 1962.)

NEXT FRIDAY POST April 7
Until then,
Get up and go out to the movies,
See you there,
Rick

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