The movies have been a prime subject for successive generations of American writers who, in response, have produced an extraordinary body of work—writing known for its craft, passion, restless curiosity, sparkling wit and, often, defiance of accepted conventions. CalArts president Steven D. Lavine welcomes renowned essayist Phillip Lopate, editor of the anthology American Movie Critics: From the Silents Until Now (Library of America), for a roundtable discussion of film criticism as a vibrant art form in its own right. Lopate, author of the essay collections Against Joie de Vivre and Portrait of My Body, is joined on the panel by film critics Richard Schickel of Time, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times and Manohla Dargis of The New York Times.

Forum Panelists BIOS:

PHILLIP LOPATE (moderator) was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1943, and received a BA from Columbia University in 1964, and a doctorate from the Union Graduate School in 1979. He has written three personal essay collections -- “Bachelorhood” (Little, Brown, 1981), “Against Joie de Vivre” (Poseidon-Simon & Schuster, 1989), and “Portrait of My Body” (Doubleday-Anchor, 1996); two novels, Confessions of Summer (Doubleday, 1979) and The Rug Merchant (Viking, 1987); two poetry collections, The Eyes Don't Always Want to Stay Open (Sun Press, 1972) and The Daily Round (Sun Press, 1976); a memoir of his teaching experiences, Being With Children (Doubleday, 1975); a collection of his movie criticism, Totally Tenderly Tragically (Doubleday-Anchor); an urbanist meditation, Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan (Crown, 2004); and a biographical monograph, Rudy Burckhardt: Photographer and Filmmaker (Harry N. Abrams, 2004.) In addition, there is a Phillip Lopate reader, (Basic Books, 2003).

He has edited the following anthologies: The Art of the Personal Essay (Doubleday-Anchor, 1994); Writing New York (The Library of America, 1998), Journey of a Living Experiment (Virgil Press, 1979), a best essays of the year series, The Anchor Essay Annual (1997-99), and the current American Movie Critics (The Library of America, March 2006). His essays, fiction, poetry, film and architectural criticism have appeared in The Best American Short Stories (1974), The Best American Essays (1987), several Pushcart Prize annuals, The Paris Review, Harper's, Vogue, Esquire, Film Comment, Threepenny Review, , New York Times, Harvard Educational Review, Preservation, Cite, 7 Days, Metropolis, Conde Nast Traveler, and many other periodicals and anthologies.

He has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and two New York Foundation for the Arts grants. He received a Christopher medal for Being With Children, a Texas Institute of Letters award in the best non-fiction book of the year category for Bachelorhood, and was a finalist for the PEN best essay book of the year award for Portrait of My Body. His anthology, Writing New York, received a citation from the New York Society Library and honorable mention from the Municipal Art Society's Brendan Gill Award.

After working with children for twelve years as a writer in the schools, he taught creative writing and literature at Fordham, Cooper Union, University of Houston, and New York University. He currently holds the John Cranford Adams Chair at Hofstra University, and also teaches in the MFA graduate programs at Columbia, the New School and Bennington College.

MANOHLA DARGIS is currently a chief film critic for , a position she shares with A. O. Scott. She was formerly a film critic for the Los Angeles Times, a film editor for the LA Weekly and has written for a variety of publications including Film Comment and Sight and Sound.

Dargis grew up in Manhattan's East Village, where she spent many happy hours watching movies at the long-lamented St. Mark's Cinema and Theater 80. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.


RICHARD SCHICKEL one of the nation's most influential film critics, has been reviewing movies for Time magazine since 1972. Before that, he was the film critic for Life.

Schickel is presently writing the film biography of actor, director and producer Clint Eastwood. His other books include Intimate Strangers: The Culture of Celebrity; D.W. Griffith: An American Life; The Disney Version; His Picture in the Papers, about Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and the beginning of the modern celebrity system; Another I, Another You, a novel; Schickel On Film, a collection of his longer essays on film, and Brando: A Life In Our Times.

Schickel pursues a second career as a producer-writer-director of television programs, beginning with The Men Who Made Movies, an eight-part PBS series, which served as the basis for a book of the same title. His filmography includes Life Goes to the Movies, a three-hour history of American movies in the sound era; Funny Business and the Horror Show, genre compilations broadcast on CBS; Into the Morning: Willa Cather's American, a biography of the writer for PBS; and biographical portraits of Vincente Minelli, the director (PBS), and Gary Cooper, Myrna Loy and Barbara Stanwyck (all for TNT), and most recently, a documentary on the making of Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven for ABC and Hollywood on Hollywood, a history of movies about making movies for AMC. He just finished Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey, a retrospective of the director's theater and film career.

Schickel was born in Milwaukee, educated at the University of Wisconsin and lives in Los Angeles. He has two daughters. He has held a Guggenheim Fellowship and is the winner of the British Film Institute Book Prize.


KENNETH TURAN is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio's “Morning Edition”, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, he is the co-author of Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. He teaches film reviewing and non-fiction writing at USC and is on the board of directors of the National Yiddish Book Center. His most recent books are the University of California Press' Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made and Never Coming To A Theater Near You, published by Public Affairs Press.


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Date/Time G ST CA
Thu 4.13.06, 8:30 pm $8 $4 free

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff