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Preston Sturges
Manny Farber: A film critic not in awe of Hollywood

Farber on Film The Complete Film Writings of Manny Farber Edited by Robert Polito Library of America: 824 pp., $40 At this year's Academy Awards, the most incongruous moment came during the "In Memoriam" roll call. Among the distinguished deceased was "Manny Farber, Film Critic." Outside of Martin Scorsese and a few other relative old-timers, I wonder how many members of the academy recognized the name, let alone remembered Farber's 1957 assessment of the complicity between the typical good-housekeeping movie reviewer and Hollywood's distribution of those 13 1/2 -inch statuettes: "His choice of best salami is a picture backed by studio build-up,...

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