Time mag­a­zine’s film critic Richard Corliss dies, 71

The China Post - - LIFE -

Richard Corliss, the long­time film critic for Time mag­a­zine, has died af­ter suf­fer­ing a ma­jor stroke last week, the mag­a­zine said Fri­day. He was 71.

“He con­veyed noth­ing so much as the sheer joy of watch­ing movies — and writ­ing about them,” Time theater critic Richard Zoglin said in an on­line trib­ute to Corliss. “He was a per­cep­tive, in­valu­able guide through three and a half decades of Hol­ly­wood films, stars and trends.”

In his 35 years as the maga- zine’s film critic, Corliss wrote more than 2,500 re­views and other ar­ti­cles.

Time Edi­tor Nancy Gibbs called Corliss a mas­ter of the writ­ten word. Words “were his tools, his toys, to the point that it felt some­times as though he had to write, like the rest of us breathe and eat and sleep,” she said.

“His prose was zest­ful and sparkling — it sim­ply jumped off the page,” Zoglin said.

He said Corliss had an en­cy­clo­pe­dic knowl­edge of film and its place in cin­e­matic, cul­tural and Amer­i­can his­tory.

His re­views were “au­thor­i­ta­tive but never in­tim­i­dat­ing” and his tastes “pop­ulist but eclec­tic,” rang­ing from Chi­nese kung fu and Dis­ney an­i­ma­tion to films by Ing­mar Bergman and Werner Her­zog.

Early in his ca­reer, Corliss dis­missed the box of­fice “Star Wars” hit, stat­ing that “the movie’s legs will prove as vul­ner­a­ble as C-3PO’s.” But he soon em­braced the films by Steven Spiel­berg and Ge­orge Lu­cas.

Of Spiel­berg’s “E.T.,” he said “the movie is a per­fectly poised mix­ture of sweet com­edy and 10-speed melo­drama, of death and res­ur­rec­tion, of a friend­ship so pure and pow­er­ful it seems like an ide­al­ized love.”

Corliss also was the au­thor of sev­eral books “Talk­ing Pic­tures” in 1974 was a sur­vey of ma­jor Hol­ly­wood screen­writ­ers. He also wrote a mono­graph on Stan­ley Kubrick’s Lolita and last year pub­lished a book on iconic film moth­ers ti­tled “Mom in the Movies.”

His wife of more than 40 years, Mary Corliss is cu­ra­tor of the Film Stills Ar­chive at New York’s Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art.

“Our trib­utes and a sampling of his writ­ing from his 35 years at Time al­low us to sa­vor the im­mense range and ex­cel­lence of his work as one of the world’s most im­por­tant voices on film, and so many other sub­jects,” said Gibbs. “We will miss him ter­ri­bly, and our prayers are with his beloved wife Mary.”

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