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Old April 24 2015, 10:37 PM   #1
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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RIP Richard Corliss -Time magazine film critic

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Behind Ebert, and Siskel and other "At the Movies" critics, Time Magazine's critic was one of the ones I always tuned into growing up. I liked his work a lot, and I loved how Star Trek First Contact used his phrase "stands proud and apart" on the video box.

Rest in peace.
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Old April 25 2015, 01:10 AM   #2
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Re: RIP Richard Corliss -Time magazine film critic

How sad! Seems like he's always been there, at Time Magazine, turning out one intelligent review after another. I didn't always agree with him but I respected him. I don't think I can say that about any other film critic working today.
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Old April 27 2015, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: RIP Richard Corliss -Time magazine film critic

Among the still-kicking crowd are Rex Reed, John Simon, Richard Schickel (retired but also from Time) and Gene Shalit.
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Old April 27 2015, 06:56 PM   #4
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Re: RIP Richard Corliss -Time magazine film critic

Foxhot wrote: View Post
Among the still-kicking crowd are Rex Reed, John Simon, Richard Schickel (retired but also from Time) and Gene Shalit.
Don't forget Richard Roeper.
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Old April 27 2015, 07:00 PM   #5
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Re: RIP Richard Corliss -Time magazine film critic

Roeper's somewhat younger. But I've likely forgotten somebody else from the other four's age bracket.
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Old April 27 2015, 08:41 PM   #6
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Re: RIP Richard Corliss -Time magazine film critic

I've never been a fan of Roeper; he always seemed more interested in coming up with a clever insult or witty turn of phrase than actually reviewing the film. I don't dislike him per se, but never really put much stock into his criticism. I felt like he was more interested in being an on-air personality than a critic. Not the Ben-Lyons-sycophant-level, but in the same neighborhood.

Richard Corliss and Roger Ebert always made me sense their knowledge of and love for the art of movies; I don't seem to get that from anyone else lately.
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Old April 28 2015, 02:07 AM   #7
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Re: RIP Richard Corliss -Time magazine film critic

Kevin Murphy (Writer, Voice of Tom Servo, Bobo on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Writer, Performer on Rifftrax) posted this on Facebook Feed the other day re:Corliss.

Regarding Richard Corliss
I met Richard Corliss, in passing, when he came to our first MST3K convention in 1994, not simply as a critic of film or culture, though he was ferociously cogent at both, nor as the fellow who would endure the derision of his peers when he wrote a study of the Cowtown Puppet Show for Film Comment so incisively thorough it taught me things I had not known about the show I’d been dedicated to since its creation. No, he came to our self-bankrolled convention as a fan, far more than he did as a scholar of the art of cinema and all the perversions that naturally spring from a budding art form dying to be taken seriously.

To be blunt, he got it. Richard seemed to write most passionately about the things he got, be it the Italian post-war miracle of movie-making or the hit-and-miss fireworks of Baz Luhrmann.
But I’m not there yet. I actually got to meet and talk to Richard when I met him on line in 2001 to see Godard’s latest salvo Éloge de l'amour, a film far more political than romantic.

And yet... and yet...

See, he was this big plush toy of a man, surprisingly quiet for a fellow of such strong opinions, as humble a writer as you’re ever likely to meet. And yet so candid, so casually “fuck-you” to his contemporaries, not an any flippant or arrogant way, but in a wide-eyed just-plain-film-loving way that endeared me to him as we stood in line in a smoke filled lobby at the Cannes Film Festival, getting herded into a the theater where soon the French folks in the audience would stand up and argue with the movie as if the movie could hear. And I saw his face, beaming as he took in the spectacle of the audience insisting itself into the screening while nibbling on pocket candy (I think it was Milk Duds but the mind grows fuzzy) And I thought to myself, “Self, this is your first encounter with a real live actual serious professional film critic, one who backed his opinions with flat-out screening time, like a more serious and less self-serious version of Ebert."

Richard was on our side of the screen, to be sure, but he was so close to the other side, the side where craft and story live, as to make the lines as blurred as they were in say, "The Purple Rose of Cairo."

Never mind that he liked my work, because I liked his. No matter what.

And this is where I fell in love with the man, not in any way beyond what happens when people in the same field learn how to correspond, to battle, to do the work of the critic, to try to make things better. My book A Year at the Movies came out in 2002, and I did hope he’d review it, which he did, bit not in any way I’d hoped he would. He did far better. Since I’d mentioned in my book that he was maybe my favorite critic, he recused himself from reviewing the book in print, but instead wrote volumes about it on his online column. And he was, much like Frank Conniff [TV's Frank, MST3K] used to say of Mavis Beacon, “firm but fair.”

He took me to task for my undying love of the movie Cinema Paradiso, a film that more than a few critics identify as emotional porn. In an otherwise glowing review, that bit stuck with me, and I emailed him, taking him to task for going deep on that one aspect of mine, mentioning the context in which I’d grown to adore the movie. And we went back and forth, more than a few rounds, speaking as much about technique as we did about how a film can punch you straight in the heart and leave a bruise.

And I learned, through that exchange, that odd talent that separates a truly gifted critic from the scum-pond of reviewers (I fucking hate reviewers): an experience and a vocabulary in the art form as deep as most anyone who makes films, and a dedication to the success of a genuinely talented filmmaker, actor, author, editor, makeup artist, to the point that even to jape is to take to task a craftsperson who can simply do better and probably knows it.

I corresponded with Richard a few more times over the years, though I never got to experience the Floating Film Festival, or spend any more significant time with the man. But I did see him face to face one more time in 2001, as I was living what would become my book, at a hot summer panel at a comedy festival on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It was an MST panel, chockablock with puppet shoe alumni. When the panel was done I stayed on the stage, shook some hands, signed some crap. And there in the crush, not flashing a credential, not working his way backstage, not at all pressing his advantage as one of the nations most read film critics, but just as an unabashed fan, was Richard. Holding his hand out in the Sharpie-armed mosh pit, saying just loud enough for me to hear, “Hey, I’m a big fan of yours, can I shake your hand before you get too big?”

Thanks to Richard I don’t think I’ll ever get too big. And that’s an incredibly good thing. What a great gift. Thanks to Richard, I’ll sit in the dark and rededicate myself to doing what I do as best I can. Hopefully better.

I offer my heart to Mary and to everyone whom Richard touched, with his awesome talent, his inspiring humility, his dedication to clarity and purpose and his virtuosity as a human being.
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Old April 28 2015, 02:28 AM   #8
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Re: RIP Richard Corliss -Time magazine film critic

Tragic he wasn't even that old.
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