Director Sidney Lumet Dies

The director of the seminal film The Pawnbroker and cult classic The Wiz dies at 86.

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sydneylumet
Seminal filmmaker Sidney Lumet dies at 86.

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that legendary filmmaker Sidney Lumet has passed away. Lumet is known for making provocative films that explore the many complexities of life, including issues of social justice, power, ethics, race and difference.

Lumet's films include the classics 12 Angry Men, Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon, which deconstructed the justice system from cops to courts to the jury room. Lumet's seminal 1964 film, The Pawnbroker, examined the stressful life of Sol, a Jewish pawnshop owner and concentration camp survivor, and his daily interactions with his multiracial clientele in Harlem. Rod Steiger's tortured portrayal of Sol earned him a best actor Oscar.

Lumet's groundbreaking 1976 film, Network, foreshadowed the cannibalistic media climate of today, earning lead actor Peter Finch, who died suddenly from a heart attack, the Academy Awards' first posthumous best actor Oscar. Lumet was also at the helm of The Wiz, an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. The film starred Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King and Lena Horne. Although the film received lukewarm reviews, it became a cult classic because of its sound track and musical icons.

Lumet, who received five Oscar nominations and seven Directors Guild of America nominations for his work, was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2005 for his "brilliant services to screenwriters, performers and the art of motion pictures." He also worked in television (Kraft's Television Theater, The Alcoa Hour, 100 Center Street) and made his last film, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, in 2007. The critically acclaimed film starred Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Ethan Hawke and Albert Finney. Lumet was 86.

Read more at the Hollywood Reporter.

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