By Dave Sterritt
David Sterritt, film critic for the Christian Science Monitor and professor of film at Long Island University, is one of the most astute, acclaimed, and thought-provoking critics in America. Sterritt's sharp eye for telling detail and deep understanding of cinema and its history make his work appealing to scholars and lay audiences.
Guiltless Pleasures: A David Sterritt Film Reader collects his most incisive essays from 1970 to the present. The collection emphasizes films and filmmakers that are often overlooked or undervalued because they stray from ordinary norms of commercial cinema. While focusing on such rewarding challenges as the avant-garde masterpieces of Stan Brakhage, the unsettling videos of Robert Wilson, and the violent, disturbing films of Gaspar No , Sterritt writes equally well and insightfully on mainstream Hollywood films.
At a time when admitting to "guilty pleasures" has become a common pastime among serious moviegoers, Sterritt argues that there's no reason to feel guilty about the alchemy of cinema. After all, he maintains, the inner journeys we take by means of movies and other cultural works are a large part of what makes life worth living.
David Sterritt is chairman of the National Society of Film Critics. He is the author of Screening the Beats: Media Culture and the Beat Sensibility, The Films of Jean-Luc Godard, and Mad to Be Saved: The Beats, the '50s, and Film, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Film Comment, and Cineaste. He lives in New York City.