Turan, Kenneth 1946-
TURAN, Kenneth 1946-
PERSONAL: Born October 27, 1946, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Max and Jean (Farber) Turan. Education: Swarthmore College, B.A., 1967; Columbia University, M.S., 1968.
ADDRESSES: Home—Pacific Palisades, CA. Agent—Kathy Robbins, Robbins Office, Inc., 405 Park Ave., 9th Floor, New York, NY 10022.
CAREER: Fremont News-Register, Fremont, CA, general assignment reporter, 1968-69; Washington Post, Washington, DC, sports writer, 1969-72, staff writer for Washington Post Sunday Magazine, 1972-75, general cultural critic and feature writer for "Style" section, 1975-78; book review editor, 1978-86, and film critic, 1980-86, for New West/California; film critic and contributing editor for Gentleman's Quarterly, 1985-90; Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA, book review editor, beginning 1990, film critic, 1991—, director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. Film critic for All Things Considered, National Public Radio, 1982-86, Entertainment Coast-to-Coast, Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc., Radio, 1984-86, and Monitor Radio, 1992—. Staff writer for TV Guide, 1984-86. Member of board of directors, National Yiddish Book Center.
MEMBER: National Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
(With William Gildea) The Future Is Now: GeorgeAllen, Pro Football's Most Controversial Coach, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1972.
(With Steve Wright) I'd Rather Be Wright: Memoirs of an Itinerant Tackle, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1974.
(With Stephen F. Zito) Sinema: American Pornographic Films and the People Who Make Them, Praeger (New York, NY), 1974.
(With Patty Duke) Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke, Bantam (New York, NY), 1987.
Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the WorldThey Made, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2002.
Contributor of editorial assistance to books, including Kareem, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Random House, 1990; and Ava, by Ava Gardner, Bantam, 1990. Film critic, Progressive, 1972-80; media columnist, Inside Sports, 1980; author of "The Word" column in Buzz, 1990. Also contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Rolling Stone, Smithsonian, Look, American Film, New Republican, and Film Comment.
SIDELIGHTS: Kenneth Turan is a well-known film reviewer for magazines, newspapers, and radio who has coauthored a number of books with sports figures and celebrities. His own book, Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made, is a collection of essays inspired by the recent influence of film festivals on filmmakers, films, and film audiences worldwide. Sundance to Sarajevo contains twelve chapters, each devoted to a single festival and grouped according to their economic influence (including the most famous festivals, Cannes and Sundance), their aesthetic orientation (reviewers singled out the Pordenone festival in Italy, which exhibits only silent films), their geopolitical significance (including festivals in Africa and Bosnia-Herzegovina), and the politics of festivals, which includes an essay in which Turan describes his experience as a member of the jury at the Montreal Film Festival, alongside film legend Jeanne Moreau.
Dana Harris, who reviewed Sundance to Sarajevo for Variety complained that Turan "favors mild-mannered anecdotes over strong opinions," and in focusing on the festivals themselves rather than on the films shown there yields "a collection of well-informed but uninvolving essays." On the other hand, Barbara Kundanis, who reviewed the book for Library Journal, remarked that "experiencing an inside look at these festivals and discovering the lesser-known ones . . . are what makes this book interesting." Likewise, a contributor to Publishers Weekly dubbed Sundance to Sarajevo a "lively blend of travelogue and film history," and concluded that "Turan's easy erudition and wholehearted pleasure in the film experience infuse the book, making it, like a good movie, a multilayered delight."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Chicago Tribune, August 2, 1987.
Library Journal, March 15, 2002, Barbara Kundanis, review of Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made, p. 84.
Publishers Weekly, March 25, 2002, review of Sundance to Sarajevo, p. 57.
Variety, May 6, 2002, Dana Harris, "Fest Quest Spans Globe," p. 51.
Washington Post, September 11, 1987.*