Other Notable Deaths


August 21, 2008


Painter, film critic

Manny Farber, a painter whose spiky, impassioned film criticism waged war against sacred cows such as Orson Welles and elevated American genre-movie directors like Howard Hawks and Sam Fuller to the Hollywood pantheon, died Monday at his home in Leucadia, Calif. His death was confirmed by Jean-Pierre Gorin, a friend and colleague at the University of California at San Diego.

Mr. Farber, a quirky prose stylist with a barbed lance, responded to film viscerally. He despised what he called the "art-infected" films of cinematic greats such as Mr. Welles and Alfred Hitchcock - "the water-buffaloes of film art," he once called them - preferring the work of genre directors including Anthony Mann, Raoul Walsh and William A. Wellman, who transformed pulp material and genre conventions into "private runways to the truth."

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