Nothing profound to add to the appreciations of Sydney Pollack. The cinetrix remembers being blinded by his gorgeous cordovan cowboy boots--from the second tier of the Carolina Theatre's balcony--and charmed by his easy-going manner during the Q&A after his doc Sketches of Frank Gehry screened.
Then there was my summer of Tootsie.
And he still owes me two hours and bus fare home for Sabrina.
But Pollack's passing also brought this tidbit to my attention:
Pollack made headlines in 1997 when he took the stand as a witness in a case against a Danish television station that aired a pan-and-scan version of "Three Days of the Condor."
Pollack and the Danish Directors Guild claimed that the cropping was a mutilation of the movie, and that the director had a "moral right" to have his artistic reputation protected from harm. Pollack ultimately lost, but he said the very existence of the case was a victory in the battle for filmmakers' legal rights. [via]
I hadn't known about that. In the various obits that have begun piling up, notice how many times Pollack as director is defined in the negative, as in "not an auteur." He knew it. But good on him to try and prevent other directors' works from being re-edited via pan-and-scan.