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Manny Farber (1917?2008) was a unique figure among American movie critics. Champion of what he called ?termite art? (focused, often eccentric virtuosity as opposed to ?white elephant? monumentality), master of a one-of-a- kind prose style whose jazz-like phrasing and incandescent twists and turns made every review an adventure, he has long been revered by his peers. Susan Sontag called him ?the liveliest, smartest, most original film critic this country ever produced?; for Peter Bogdanovich, he was ?razor-sharp in his perceptions? and ?never less than brilliant as a writer.?Farber was an early discoverer of many filmmakers later acclaimed as American masters: Val Lewton, Preston Sturges, Samuel Fuller, Raoul Walsh, Anthony Mann. A prodigiously gifted painter himself, he brought to his writing an artist?s eye for what was on the screen.

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