Manny Farber (1917, Douglas, Arizona, United States –August 17, 2008) was an American painter and early nobrow film critic. He taught at the University of California San Diego alongside Raymond Durgnat, Jean-Pierre Gorin and Jonathan Rosenbaum.
His film criticism has appeared during stints at The New Republic (late 1940s), Time (1949), The Nation (1949-54), New Leader (1958-59), Cavalier (1966), Artforum (1967-71). He has also contributed to Commentary, Film Culture, Film Comment, and City Magazine. He contributed art criticism to The New Republic and The Nation during the 1940s through 1950s.
In his essay “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art” originally published in 1962, he eloquently championed B film and under-appreciated auteurs and coined several terms, such as termite art and monsterpieces.
Postwar film critics and theorists of his stature have included Parker Tyler, Edgar Morin, Amos Vogel, Ado Kyrou and Raymond Durgnat while his closest ally in music criticism was the untimely departed Lester Bangs.
Most of Farber’s film writing has been collected in Negative Space: Manny Farber on the Movies (depicted above).