Sidney Lumet, the acclaimed director who brought us such gems as “Network,” “12 Angry Men,” “Serpico” and “Dog Day Afternoon,” has died at 86, the New York Times is reporting.
It’s fitting that Lumet lived long enough to witness the satirical world he wove in the 1976 best-picture-nominated film “Network” — which had well-meaning observers at the time chuckling at the absurdity of a respected TV broadcaster launching into on-the-air tirades — become more real than anyone thought possible. Witness the “reality shows” running rampant today and getting more crass by the season (did you read about Showtime’s new show “Gigolo,” where we follow men selling themselves for sex?) and a caustic political environment as today’s talking heads use their media influence as platforms for shrillness and demagoguery.
Besides “Network,” my favorite Lumet film has to be “Dog Day Afternoon,” among Al Pacino’s best performances. What’s yours?
More: My colleague James Ward at the Visalia Times-Delta has a nice Top 10 list of Lumet’s films here.