Sidney Lumet Dies: R.i.p.
SIDNEY LUMET DIES
LIGHT UPON LIGHT!?
Director Sidney Lumet died yesterday. He was 86. This prose-poem will not tell you chapter and verse about his legendary career which, if you don’t know it, you can read about it. Lumet's published memoir about his life in film, Making Movies (1996), is "extremely light-hearted and infectious in its enthusiasm for the craft of moviemaking itself," writes film-historian Stephen Bowles, "and is in marked-contrast to the tone and style of most of his films.(1)
The tone and style of Lumet’s films is serious, honest, and passionate. He was a master of social realism and of portraying morally complex American life and its drama. In a radio interview I heard today Lumet said that each setting, each location, each shoot scene with all the supporting actors, guest stars, producers and director, as well as the entire production crew on hand make for a collectivity, an event, a social scene which he found part of the very raison d’etre for his work, indeed, his life. -Ron Price with thanks to Wikipedia, 10 April 2011 and Stephen E. Bowles, International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, The Gale Group Inc., 2001.
Perhaps if I made films, Sidney,
I would make them light-hearted
and infectious like your memoir.
My memoir was serious, honest
and full of the complexity of our
modern world-----like your films.
I must say, Sidney, that I hardly even
knew you………I’ve been busy myself
as far back as you were working for..
CBS directing hundreds of episodes of
Danger(‘50–‘55), Mama (‘49–‘57) and
You Are There(‘53-‘57)…..I won’t follow
your career until your death yesterday,
but I would like to know if you ever met
any Baha’is in NY in your many decades.
You are, arguably, in that land of light &
you will, also arguably…continue to play
with light, character, & condition humaine1
in that new country, that oh so mysterious
Kingdom to which you winged your way!?!*2
1 The phrase ‘the human condition’ in French
2 ‘Abdul-Baha, Memorials of the Faithful, Wilmette, 1975(1971), p.134 and p.158.
10 April 2011