Manny Farber, the idiosyncratic painter and film critic for The New Republic, The Nation, ArtForum and other publications, has died. He was 91.
According to The Times‘ William Grimes, Mr. Farber was "a quirky prose stylist with a barbed lance, responded to film viscerally. He despised what he called the ‘art-infected’ films of cinematic greats like Welles and Alfred Hitchcock — ‘the water-buffaloes of film art,’ he once called them — preferring the work of genre directors like Anthony Mann, Raoul Walsh and William A. Wellman, who transformed pulp material and genre conventions into ‘private runways to the truth.’"
The Village Voice‘s J. Hoberman wrote:
An anthology of Mr. Farber’s film criticism called Negative Space was praised by Franklin Bruno in the December 2004/January 2005 issue of The Believer. In 2006, Mr. Farber (who hadn’t published a piece of film criticism since 1977) was gently mocked by director M. Night Shyamalan, who named an uptight critic character played by Bob Balaban "Harry Farber" in his flop The Lady in the Water.