PAUL ARTHUR, R.I.P.
Manohla Dargis notes the passing of film historian, critic and filmmaker Paul Arthur in the New York Times.
He was first published in the early 1970s, and over the next few decades he wrote fluidly and accessibly on a range of topics, notably avant-garde cinema but also film noir and documentary. His work appeared in publications including Artforum, Film Comment, Cineaste, The Village Voice and USA Today magazine. For several years starting in the mid-1980s he served on the board for two venerable avant-garde film institutions in New York: the Collective for Living Cinema, an adventurous screening space, now closed, and the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, a nonprofit film-rental library.
Mr. Arthur also ventured behind the camera. In 1970 he began his first short, “Correspondences,” which he shot in 8-millimeter film and finished some five years later. He completed 14 other films, including a 1986 feature-length work called “(Late) of the Primate’s Palace,” which he described in the Film-Makers’ Cooperative catalog as an autobiographical travelogue and which was dedicated to his father.
Update: Arthur’s family has posted a lovely remembrance at the New York Times death notices section, and one of his former students, Ian Hill, posts in the comment section below this link to his own piece on Arthur, a long blog entry that captures the intelligence and passion of his teaching.