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July 21, 2005

Gavin Lambert

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

A moment of silence, please, for the under-recognized passing of Gavin Lambert, who died several days ago at the age of 80. Lambert was one of those brilliant, elegant, gentlemanly, and dapper-but-tough figures the arts can't live without. And, yes, you bet he was gay.

As far as films went, Lambert was a critic; he edited Sight & Sound magazine; he worked as a flunky for Nicholas Ray; he wrote award-winning screenplays.

But he was a beyond-excellent journalist, biographer, and fiction-writer too. I'm a huge fan of his book-length interview with George Cukor, of his biography of the exotic Russian diva Nazimova, and of his story collection "The Slide Area," which seems to me as good as the best of Christopher Isherwood, as well as one of the best-ever evocations of the movie life.

Here's Lambert's entry on IMDB. Here's a nice photo of him. Here's an interview with him about Natalie Wood, the subject of one of his biographies. Dennis McLellan's obit in the LA Times is a nice one; so is Sharon Waxman's in the NY Times. The film critic David Ehrenstein, who knew Lambert, recalls his friend here.



posted by Michael at July 21, 2005


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