Wednesday, April 13, 2011

R.I.P. Sidney Lumet

I know, I know. I'm late in paying my respects to Sidney Lumet, who died last weekend at 86, but I find that writing obituaries is useless since all the wire services and popular film sites did that. All I can do is personally express that Mr. Lumet was a very talented, insightful and skilled filmmaker who really understood the art of making a film. Films like SERPICO, NETWORK, DOG DAY AFTERNOON and THE VERDICT are standout titles that are the work of a man who had a diverse and prolific career. He didn't have a singular style that was displayed in his 45 features as a director. He was a simply professional craftsman who knew how to work with the best actors and technicians in the business. Lumet started as a child actor so he certainly had an education himself.

His career began as a live TV drama director in the 50s and his work in feature films continued for six decades. He didn't believe in retirement as he continued to make films up until as recently as 2007 with his final film, the devastating crime drama BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD. He left behind an enormously rich body of work. Many of his films I have never seen, so I better get to viewing them.

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