Kenneth Turan: Discovering his Passionate Reviews

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Kenneth Turan: Unearthing His Passionate Reviews

Kenneth Turan is an esteemed journalist and prolific film critic who has used his platform to shed light on films and film-makers around the world. For over four decades, Turan’s reviews have been unparalleled in their depth and passion, and his writing has also helped to shape public opinion about films.

Turan’s Early Life and Education

Kenneth Turan was born on November 6, 1946, in Brooklyn, New York. His parents, Rose and Leon Turan, were a Democratic politico and a congressional speechwriter, respectively. Growing up, Turan was moved by world cinema, including the works of established filmmakers like Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa and Federico Fellini. This early interest in film ultimately laid the foundation for his career in criticism.

Turan attended City College of New York, where he studied Creative Writing and Political Science. After graduating, he received a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Harvard University.

Turan’s Career in Film Criticism

As a student, Turan wrote film reviews for the college-run newspaper, and later became a contributing critic at The Los Angeles Times. Soon thereafter, Turan wrote reviews and feature pieces for various publications, not just in the US but around the world. His reviews gained a strong following over the years, and today he is thought of as one of the most influential film critics in the world.

Notably, Turan is the first critic to be recognized for his work by both the Pulitzer Prize Board and the National Society of Film Critics. His reviews are known for their efforts to convey deeper meaning and emotion, and his craft is often referred to as “movie poetry”.

Turan’s Platforms

Beyond his reviews, Turan is a versatile talent who has lent his storytelling capabilities to a range of platforms, from radio shows to podcast episodes to scholarly essays. He is currently a National Public Radio critic, associate editor at the Los Angeles Times, and a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Turan has also written several books, some in collaboration with his wife, Los Angeles Times contributor Teresa Watanabe. His 2013 memoir, Never Coming to a Theater Near You: A Celebration of a certain Kind of Movie, was largely praised by critics and readers alike.

Notable Work

Turan has reviewed a broad range of films over the years, all of which have received passionate reviews, regardless of genre or production budget. Here are some of his most noteworthy reviews:

  1. “Lady Bird”: Turan wrote an extensive essay in The Los Angeles Times comparing Lady Bird to classic coming-of-age films of the ’50s and ’60s. He described the characters as “organic, truthful, generous and a joy to watch”.

  2. “Parasite”: Turan called the film a “bright, bold and bolder” look at modern South Korea, claiming it had “a spirit that makes us feel alive”.

  3. “Moonlight”: Turan wrote a lyrical review in The Los Angeles Times in which he asserted that Moonlight was an “unforgettably beautiful” movie.

Turan’s Legacy

Kenneth Turan’s writing is celebrated for its vividness and poignancy, his thoughtful analysis and the ways in which he serves readers more than stars and filmmakers. His reviews have illuminated some of the most iconic films of the 21st century, and he has helped shape public opinion about the most important cinematic projects of our time.

When it comes to reviews, Kenneth Turan’s voice remains unparalleled in its insight, passion and clarity of thought. His work continues to inspire movie buffs from every corner of the world, gracing the pages of cultural publications, catalogues, and newspapers with a presence that is and will be remembered for generations.

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