Poignant news to pass along: our good friend and frequent contributor Michael Sragow has announced on his Baltimore Sun blog that at the end of this week, he will be hanging up his hat as a regular film critic. This comes after forty-two years as one of the sharpest reviewers of the contemporary cinematic landscape, taking him from New York magazine to the Boston Phoenix, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, and beyond. To mark the occasion, he has written about the early part of his career, reminiscing on the first twelve years of his life as a critic, most of them during that thrilling decade the 1970s, when auteurs like Peckinpah, De Palma, and Coppola were stirring passions and inciting debate. Sragow also provides a sweet anecdote about his interactions with Peter Bogdanovich, and mentions his friendship with Pauline Kael (a subject that helped inform his recent essay for the Criterion release of De Palma’s Blow Out). We’ll miss your regular columns, Mike, but we know we’ll be working with you again soon!