Wednesday, March 04, 2015


I saw Michael Hunter's obituary in the paper today and I thought back to the film class I took with him at Sierra College in 92-93. Might have been more than one. He was very influential on me thinking of film as an art form and getting more into  it. I can't remember if it had any influence on me getting a job in a movie theater, but it very well could have, and that's something that had a ripple effect on my life. I remember he was an elegant, theatrical speaker and that I thought he was cute. He was probably 46 at the time, but his hair was already totally gray. I remember that he showed Cutter and Bone (which is a cool choice) and Children of Paradise. RIP!
I guess BAR is out as the critic of the Sac Bee. Crazy. Six years. I haven't seen much on social media, and a few of the comments have been snide (surprise!) I think he's done a service to Sac and raised the level of the conversation. He's written some scathing reviews, which were also really funny, and me might have been the first person to ever do that in a food review in Sacramento. He took the food criticism from something that I never read to a must-read (except when he's reviewing spots in like, EDH or something). I've definitely checked out places I never would have otherwise, and he's boosted business at some favorite spots, sometimes to annoying levels. There are a lot of armchair critics who think they or someone they know could do it better. Most couldn't. It's hard to have the chutzpah to write things as critical as he has and live and eat in this town. Nobody likes writing something critical and then seeing the person you wrote about, and knowing that even if your criticism is legit they won't take it as such and will always defend and deflect and turn it around or find some way to discredit you. His tenure was a good one. We'll see what they do. Sounds like they may not even have a set food critic, which would be too bad.


wburg said...

I still stand by my assessment that BAR is responsible in no small part for the much-proclaimed food renaissance here in town, in part because he was willing to criticize and skewer, as well as celebrate. If Sacramento Press or Midtown Monthly was still around I'd expect to write an article about that effect called "Raising the BAR" (har de har) but hey.

Now if only we had music and art critics of equal stature and skill, and publications willing to pay them to say horrible things about those who deserve to hear them.

Scott Miller said...

Wait til Pierlioni's reign of terror starts at The Bee. He's willing to tell it like it is & isn't afraid to give out 3 & 1/2 stars if a place doesn't cut it.