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New York Film Buff

Shivah Stars

Marc Tracy
May 03, 2012
Amos Vogel in 1962.(Tina Fineberg/NYT)
Amos Vogel in 1962.(Tina Fineberg/NYT)

Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. This week, it’s that of Amos Vogel, who died Tuesday at 91, mere months before the 50th annual New York Film Festival, an institution he founded and directed for its first quarter-century. Vogel, who was born Vogelbaum in Austria, started out as a devoted avant-gardist inspired by Maya Deren, and his programs eventually became Cinema 16, which became the largest membership film society in America. Through Vogel’s efforts, American audiences came to experience, among other films unmentioned by the obituary, Luis Buñuel’s Exterminating Angel and Gillo Pontecorvo’s Battle of Algiers—the latter the 42nd most Jewish film ever.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.