Greencine Daily’s David Hudson has put together an exhaustive collection of links and quote highlights from Manny Farber’s obituaries, a painter and film critic who died Sunday. Farber considered himself a painter first, though for the most part you’ll read about his value as a critic — notably Kent Jones, the associate director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center places him on the level of Clement Greenberg – a rather apt description for the man who coined the term “underground films”. The original essay in which he first penned the term can be found in Negative Space, a roughly 400 page book of his collected writings on film, available, coincidently in its entirety on Google books.
Those who wish to read more about his painting, Art Critical has a good essay up, though it is annoyingly missing all its images (UPDATE: This has been fixed!). I haven’t seen the work in person, so I can’t comment on his art (I do love the above jpg) though I did enjoy this great personal anecdote from Carrie Rickey at Flickgrrl.
The place: New York. The time: 1980. I had taken Manny to a screening of a limp Australian film at the Rizzoli Screening Room on Fifth Avenue. In search of dinner, we strolled down the avenue, past Sak’s and its fabled windows. As we talked about criticism (and how the Australian film defied it) Manny did not fail to notice the mannequins and the backdrops. Shoulder-padded women’s clothes with inverted-pyramid silhouettes (like Russian-modernist geometry) in front of what looked like Kenneth Noland striped paintings, retro man-in-the-grey-flannel suit menswear in front of Frank Stella-like chevrons. He stopped and said, “You know, I lived through Russian constructivism, ’50s conservatism and ’60s abstraction sequentially. Now I’m reliving it all at once.” He paused, cradling forehead in hand. “Say,” he asked, “Did I just define postmodernism?”
Thanks to Ray Pride for providing a lot of the links above.