Iconic Japanese Film Historian Donald Richie Passes Away


While the film world may in many ways still be reeling from the loss of legendary film critic Andrew Sarris this past summer, another iconic film critic and historian has left us. Author/critic Donald Richie, arguably one of the most influential voices in expanding the reach of Japanese culture (particularly cinema) has passed away. He was 88.

Best known for books like The Japan Journals, the writer’s imprint on the overall culture has been his aiding in growing the breadth with which Japanese culture reaches. He had been influential in discussing the works of such directors as Ozu and Kurosawa, and has since become an absolute legend in a movement that has lasted ever since.

Ryan has compiled a list of commentaries/supplements that have featured Richie, which can be found here, and I know I’ll be re-visiting some of these films to hear his musings on them. I myself have not read any of his work, but that will definitely change. As a major voice in Japanese cinema, any film fan worth his weight in celluloid must read his work, and I will definitely be doing that soon. He will be missed.

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Joshua Brunsting

Josh is a critic, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, a wrestling nerd, a hip-hop head, a father, a cinephile and a man looking to make his stamp on the world, one word at a time.