|Born||Emanuel "Manny" Farber|
February 20, 1917
|Died|| August 18, 2008 91) (aged|
|Known for||Painter, film critic|
Emanuel "Manny" Farber (February 20, 1917 – 18 August 2008) was an American painter, film critic and writer. Often described as "iconoclastic",Farber developed a distinctive prose style and set of theoretical stances which have had a large influence on later generations of film critics, influence on underground culture; Susan Sontag considered him to be "the liveliest, smartest, most original film critic this country has ever produced."
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. The final work is also called a painting.
Underground culture, or simply underground, is a term to describe various alternative cultures which either consider themselves different from the mainstream of society and culture, or are considered so by others. The word "underground" is used because there is a history of resistance movements under harsh regimes where the term underground was employed to refer to the necessary secrecy of the resisters.
Susan Sontag was an American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist. She mostly wrote essays, but also published novels; she published her first major work, the essay "Notes on 'Camp'", in 1964. Her best-known works include On Photography, Against Interpretation, Styles of Radical Will, The Way We Live Now, Illness as Metaphor, Regarding the Pain of Others, The Volcano Lover, and In America.
Farber's writing was distinguished by its "visceral," punchy styleand inventive approach towards language; amongst other things, he is credited with coining the term "underground film" in a 1957, and was an early advocate of such filmmakers as Howard Hawks, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, William Wellman, Raoul Walsh, Anthony Mann, Michael Snow, Chantal Akerman, George Kuchar and Andy Warhol.
An underground film is a film that is out of the mainstream either in its style, genre, or financing.
Howard Winchester Hawks was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era. Critic Leonard Maltin called him "the greatest American director who is not a household name."
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, sometimes credited as R. W. Fassbinder, was a West German filmmaker, actor, playwright, theatre director, composer, cinematographer, editor, and essayist. He is widely regarded as a prominent figure and catalyst of the New German Cinema movement.
Farber's painting, which was often influenced by his favorite filmmakers,is held in equally high regard; he was dubbed the greatest still life painter of his generation by The New York Times .
A still life is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which are either natural or man-made.
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.
Later in life, Farber focused more on art and teaching. He often worked in close collaboration with his wife, Patricia Patterson, also an artist.
Manny Farber was born in Douglas, Arizona, the youngest of three brothers. His two older siblings, David and Leslie H. Farber, both became psychiatrists.
Douglas is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States that lies in the north-west to south-east running San Bernardino Valley within which runs the Rio San Bernardino. Douglas has a border crossing with Mexico at Agua Prieta and a history of mining.
Leslie Hillel Farber was an American author, psychiatrist, director of therapy at Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, chairman of the faculty of the Washington School of Psychiatry, and vice president of the William Alanson White Psychiatric Foundation.
A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry, the branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, study, and treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors, unlike psychologists, and must evaluate patients to determine whether their symptoms are the result of a physical illness, a combination of physical and mental ailments, or strictly psychiatric. A psychiatrist usually works as the clinical leader of the multi-disciplinary team, which may comprise psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and nursing staff. Psychiatrists have broad training in a bio-psycho-social approach to assessment and management of mental illness.
Farber attended UC Berkeley, Stanford University and the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design. In the 1930s, Farber worked as a painter and carpenter, first in San Francisco and then in Washington DC. During this time, he attempted to join the Communist Party, though later in his life Farber was often critical of post-New Deal liberal politics.
Leland Stanford Junior University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, wealth, proximity to Silicon Valley, and ranking as one of the world's top universities.
Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design was an art school located in San Francisco, California, best known for its courses in color and interior design. The school was founded by artist Rudolph Schaeffer.
Carpentry is a skilled trade and a craft in which the primary work performed is the cutting, shaping and installation of building materials during the construction of buildings, ships, timber bridges, concrete formwork, etc. Carpenters traditionally worked with natural wood and did the rougher work such as framing, but today many other materials are also used and sometimes the finer trades of cabinetmaking and furniture building are considered carpentry. In the United States, 98.5% of carpenters are male, and it was the fourth most male-dominated occupation in the country in 1999. In 2006 in the United States, there were about 1.5 million carpentry positions. Carpenters are usually the first tradesmen on a job and the last to leave. Carpenters normally framed post-and-beam buildings until the end of the 19th century; now this old fashioned carpentry is called timber framing. Carpenters learn this trade by being employed through an apprenticeship training—normally 4 years—and qualify by successfully completing that country's competence test in places such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and South Africa. It is also common that the skill can be learned by gaining work experience other than a formal training program, which may be the case in many places.
His journalistic career began as an art critic, and in 1942 he moved to New York City and took a post as a film critic for The New Republic . This was followed by stints at Time (1949), The Nation (1949–54), New Leader (1958–59), Cavalier (1966) and Artforum (1967–71). He has also contributed to Commentary , Film Culture , Film Comment , and City Magazine . He contributed art criticism to The New Republic and The Nation during the 1940s through 1950s.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
The New Republic is an American magazine of commentary on politics and the arts, published since 1914, with influence on American political and cultural thinking. Founded in 1914 by leaders of the progressive movement, it attempted to find a balance between a humanitarian progressivism and an intellectual scientism, and ultimately discarded the latter. Through the 1980s and '90s, the magazine incorporated elements of "Third Way" neoliberalism and conservatism.
Time is an American weekly news magazine and news website published in New York City. It was founded in 1923 and originally run by Henry Luce. A European edition is published in London and also covers the Middle East, Africa, and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong. The South Pacific edition, which covers Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, is based in Sydney. In December 2008, Time discontinued publishing a Canadian advertiser edition.
Farber left New York City to teach at the University of California, San Diego in 1970. Reportedly, Farber traded his Manhattan loft to artist Don Lewallen in exchange for Lewallen's teaching position at UCSD after the two met at a party.Once in San Diego, he focused on painting and teaching, and retired from criticism altogether in 1977.
Originally an art professor only, Farber was approached about teaching a film class because of his background as a critic. He taught several courses, including "History of Film" and "Films in Social Context," which became famous for his unusual teaching style: he usually showed films only in disconnected pieces, sometimes running them backwards or adding in slides and sketches on the blackboard to illustrate his ideas.His exams had a reputation for being demanding and complicated, and occasionally required students to draw storyboards of scenes from memory.
Farber retired from teaching in 1987, at age 70. Towards the end of his life, he found it difficult to paint, and instead focused on collages and drawings; his final exhibition of new work occurred just a month before his death.
He died at his home in Leucadia, near Encinitas, California, on August 18, 2008.
Farber's writing is well known for its distinctive prose style,which he personally described as "a struggle to remain faithful to the transitory, multisuggestive complication of a movie image." He cited the sportswriters of his era as an influence, and frequently used sports metaphors, especially ones related to baseball, in his writings on art and cinema.
Farber frequently championed genre filmmakers like Howard Hawks, Anthony Mann and Raoul Walsh; however, despite his fondness for B-films, Farber was often critical of film noir.
One of Farber's best-known essays is "White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art", which originally appeared in 1962 in Film Culture . In it, he writes on the virtues of "termite art" and the excesses of "white elephant art" and champions the B film and under-appreciated auteurs, which he felt were able, termite-like, to burrow into a topic. Bloated, pretentious, white elephant art lacks the economy of expression found in the greatest works of termite art, according to Farber.
"Termite-tapeworm-fungus-moss art," Farber contends, "goes always forward eating its own boundaries, and, like as not, leaves nothing in its path other than the signs of eager, industrious, unkempt activity."
Farber is frequently named as one of the greatest film critics, and his work has had a lasting impact on the generations of critics that followed him.
An appearance by Manny Farber at the San Francisco Film Festival is shown in the documentary, For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism , in which he is called "criticism's supreme stylist" and his unusual use of language is discussed by The Nation critic Stuart Klawans.
Andrew Sarris was an American film critic, a leading proponent of the auteur theory of film criticism.
André Bazin was a renowned and influential French film critic and film theorist.
Jean-Pierre Gorin is a French filmmaker and professor, best known for his work with Nouvelle Vague luminary Jean-Luc Godard, during what is often referred to as Godard's "radical" period.
Jonathan Rosenbaum is an American film critic. Rosenbaum was the head film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 until 2008, when he retired at the age of 65. He has published and edited numerous books and has contributed to some of the world's most notable film publications, including Cahiers du cinéma and Film Comment.
The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures is an organization in the United States dedicated to discussing and selecting what its members regard as the best film works of each year.
Harrison Parker Tyler, better known as Parker Tyler, was an American author, poet, and film critic. Tyler had a relationship with underground filmmaker Charles Boultenhouse (1926–1994) from 1945 until his death. Their papers are held by the New York Public Library.
Raymond Durgnat was a British film critic, who was born in London of Swiss parents. During his life he wrote for virtually every major English language film publication. In 1965 he published the first major critical essay on Michael Powell, who had hitherto been "fashionably dismissed by critics as a 'technician’s director'", as Durgnat put it.
James Lewis Hoberman, known as J. Hoberman, is an American film critic, journalist, author and academic. He began working at The Village Voice in the 1970s, became a full-time staff writer in 1983, and was the newspaper's senior film critic from 1988 to 2012.
Wavelength is a 45 minute film by Canadian experimental filmmaker and artist Michael Snow, known for building his reputation upon publicity of the film. Considered a landmark of avant-garde cinema, it was filmed over one week in December 1966 and edited in 1967, and is an example of what film theorist P. Adams Sitney describes as "structural film", calling Snow "the dean of structural filmmakers."
Duncan Shepherd, a longtime film critic, wrote a weekly column for the alternative weekly the San Diego Reader from 1972 until November 2010.
Otis Ferguson was an American writer best remembered for his music and film reviews in The New Republic in the 1930s.
In the Street is a 16-minute documentary film released in 1948 and again in 1952. The black and white, silent film was shot in the mid-1940s in the Spanish Harlem section of New York City. Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb, and James Agee were the cinematographers; they used small, hidden 16 mm film cameras to record street life, especially of children. Levitt edited the film and, subsequent to its first release, added a piano soundtrack composed and performed by Arthur Kleiner.
Stuart Klawans has been the film critic for The Nation since 1988. He also writes a column on the visual arts for The New York Daily News.
Film Comment is an arts and culture magazine now published by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, of which it is the official publication. Film Comment features reviews and analysis of mainstream, art-house, and avant-garde filmmaking from around the world. Founded in 1962 and originally released as a quarterly, Film Comment began publishing on a bi-monthly basis with the Nov/Dec issue of 1972. In 2007, the magazine was awarded the Utne Independent Press Award for Best Arts Coverage. The magazine's editorial team also hosts the annual Film Comment Selects at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films and the film medium. The concept is often used interchangeably with that of film reviews. A film review implies a recommendation aimed at consumers, however not all film criticism takes the form of reviews.
Joe Brainard was an American artist and writer associated with the New York School. His prodigious and innovative body of work included assemblages, collages, drawing, and painting, as well as designs for book and album covers, theatrical sets and costumes. In particular, Brainard broke new ground in using comics as a poetic medium in his collaborations with other New York School poets. He is best known for his memoir I Remember, of which Paul Auster said: "It is ... one of the few totally original books I have ever read."
For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism is a 2009 documentary film dramatizing a hundred years of American film criticism through film clips, historic photographs, and on-camera interviews with many of today’s important reviewers, mostly print but also Internet. It was produced by Amy Geller, written and directed by long-time Boston Phoenix film critic Gerald Peary, and narrated by Patricia Clarkson. Critics featured include Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times, A.O. Scott of The New York Times, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times, and Elvis Mitchell, host of the public radio show The Treatment.
Carrie Rickey is a feminist American art and film critic. Rickey is the film critic at The Philadelphia Inquirer and often contributes to The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Village Voice.