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The Essential Writings of David Sterritt

David Sterritt’s writings constantly continue to enlighten and surprise me, by thinking of films in new and original ways that challenge the preconceptions we have about the movies.

As his Wikipedia entry notes, “Sterritt is most notable for his work on Alfred Hitchcock and Jean-Luc Godard, and his many years as the Film Critic for The Christian Science Monitor, where, from 1968 until his retirement in 2005, he championed avant garde cinema, theater and music. He has a Ph.D in Cinema Studies from New York University, and is the Chairman of the National Society of Film Critics.  Sterritt is known for his intelligent discussions of controversial films and his lively, accessible style. He is particularly well-known for his careful considerations of films with a spiritual connection, such as Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004).

His writings on film and film culture appear regularly in various publications, including The New York Times, MovieMaker Magazine, The Huffington Post, Senses of Cinema, Cineaste, Film Comment, Film Quarterly and elsewhere. Sterritt has also written influentially on the film and culture of the 1950s, the Beat Generation, French New Wave cinema, the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Altman, Spike Lee and Terry Gilliam, and the TV series The Honeymooners.”

Here, he writes about Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! (2009); and, in a different essay, the concept of evil in its numerous forms as observed in the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Both are pdfs that you can download and peruse at your leisure; there’s also Sterritt’s main site, which contains a compendium of all his works, and is heartily recommended, which you can access here.

And here’s the real goldmine; an amazing series of essays by Sterritt on an incredible variety of topics, available by clicking this link. This is one of the most invaluable one-stop resources for film criticism on the ever-more-commercial web today, and an example of Sterritt’s generosity in making his work freely available to the public. This group of essays also gives one some small indication of how wide-ranging and innovative Sterritt’s work in film is.

Essential reading.

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About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an internationally recognized scholar and writer of film history, theory and criticism. He is the author of numerous books and more than 70 articles on film and appears regularly in national media outlets discussing film and culture trends. Frame by Frame is a collection of his thoughts on a number of those topics. To contact Prof. Dixon for an interview, reach him at 402.472.6064 or wdixon1@unl.edu.

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