October 23, 2001 |
At age 98, famed celebrity cartoonist Al Hirschfeld is still spry, still charming--and still drawing daily. Though Hirschfeld has been chronicling Broadway theater and its denizens for more than eight decades, the "Line King" actually began his career creating film art. In fact, by 1926 he was a veteran of movie studio publicity and art departments for Goldwyn, Universal, Pathe, Selznick, Fox and Warner Bros.
January 6, 1999 |
In "The Line King," Susan Dryfoos has given us an affectionate tribute to Al Hirschfeld, who like Thomas Nast and Norman Rockwell, created images Americans cherish of themselves. Featured tonight at 9 as part of the PBS series "American Masters" is a shortened version of Dryfoos' original Oscar-nominated documentary, which played theatrically and on Cinemax. Though trimmed from 87 minutes to 58, happily, the editors made their cuts gently, and the film plays smoothly.
March 30, 1997 |
With Susan W. Dryfoos' Oscar-nominated "The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story," Hirschfeld (pictured in self-portrait)--whose whimsical caricatures have enchanted readers, primarily of the New York Times, for years--has received the warm, witty and comprehensive documentary he deserves. In 87 minutes Dryfoos acquaints us with the vigorous, hearty, white-bearded Hirschfeld (Cinemax Wednesday at 11:30 p.m.).
December 5, 1996 |
Though the full, snowy beard and sonorous baritone lend an air of learned elder, there's a mischievous twinkle in the eyes more suited to an impish schoolboy. Indeed, esteemed caricaturist and illustrator Al Hirschfeld seems equally playful and wise as he relates tales of his trade with a deep, easy laugh. Hirschfeld, best known for drawings featured in the Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times, has a remarkable body of work, essentially a sublime chronicle of 20th century pop culture.
November 8, 1992 |
Like "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," the contemporary Disney animated features "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast" looked back to the richly detailed style of the great 19th- and early 20th-Century European storybook illustrators. But when Disney artists sought inspiration for their new feature "Aladdin," they turned to a very different source: the elegantly minimal caricatures of Al Hirschfeld.
December 1, 1991 |
Arguably the most influential caricaturist of the 20th Century, Al Hirschfeld would have been recognized as a national living treasure if the United States government awarded that honor: As it is, he remains our uncrowned illustrator laureate. Few artists since Daumier have displayed a comparable ability to capture the essentials of an individual's face, gestures and manner in a few bold lines.