Monday, April 02, 2007


I planned to keep my baseball post at the top of the blog for the rest of this Opening day, but then I read something that flabbergasted me. It came from the opening line of Stanley Kauffman's review of three new movies, Ken Burns' documentary Sacco and Vanzetti and two feature films, Zodiac and The Wind That Shakes The Barley, in the latest New Republic.:
On the morning of August 24, 1927, a few weeks before I started high school, I read the headlines in The New York Times announcing the executions of Sacco and Vanzetti.

Read it again. TNR's main movie reviewer, who continues to write in nearly every issue, who reviews the whole range of contemporary film and who does so insightfully (whether or not you agree with him, and by no means do I always share Kauffman's tastes), began high school in 1927. Assuming that he entered grade 9 at the age of 13 or 14, that means that Kauffmann is well more than 90 years old. This is a man who quite literally has lived almost the entire history of films and who to this day continues to write about movies in one of the most respected sources in American intellectual life. In fact, Kauffman is about as old as the magazine whose pages his work graces.

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