Early yesterday, legendary film maker Sidney Lumet passed away, dying at the age of 86 at his home in New York.
I find this personally ironic, because just the day before, I was telling a couple of my friends about this amazing book I was reading called “Making Movies.” It is Lumet’s own person reflection on film making, as a business, as an art, and as a way of life. It is the most honest interpretation of the process I have ever read, and is so well reading it doesn’t feel text-book at all. It explores the pathos of the entire production team, and the logic behind their methods.
How many of his movies have I seen? Most likely only a half dozen of his, my favorites of which would be the classic Pancino films, Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon, and the under appreciated Vin Diesel courtroom drama, Find Me Guilty.
I’m pretty sure once I’m done reading this amazing book, I’m going to go on a viewing spree dedicated to this great artist. Yes, artist. Because not all film is art, but movies that make you think, like 12 Angry Men and Network, truly say the potential is there. And while he might not have believed in the director as an auteur himself, he definitely knew his craft and how to use it, just as Picasso could take an easel, paint, and a brush, and do something beautiful.
Rest in Peace, Master Lumet. I’ll be sure to learn all I can from your fantastic works.