David Chute Dies: L.A. Film Critic Who Helped Introduce Genre Films, Hong Kong Action Cinema To Mainstream Was 71

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Film critic David Christopher Chute died this month of esophageal most cancers in Los Angeles. He was 71. His demise November 8 was confirmed by his daughter, Nora Chute.

His profession kicked off in the Nineteen Seventies as a critic for the Kennebec Journal and the Maine Times. Chute was a fan of horror writer Stephen King and profiled him for Take One. In return, King gave Chute a signed copy of The Shining and the title of “best film critic in America.”

In the late ’70s, Chute was staffed as a author on the Boston Phoenix the place he expressed his love for comics, and the horror movies of John Carpenter and George Romero.

“I never could have survived those first years without his ability to take on anything I threw at him and turn out a fluid critical piece, glinting with nuggets of insight,” his Phoenix movie editor Stephen Schiff wrote on a protracted Facebook thread about Chute’s influence on a era of movie critics. “Genre and all the strong sensations that came with it attracted him, then obsessed him – I first read the then-underecognized Stephen King just to see what David was going on about – and it was fascinating to watch him keep pushing his connoisseurship into ever more niche niches…He threw a lot of light into what, for most American readers, had been some fairly obscure corners.”

Chute was instrumental in bringing Hong Kong motion cinema to the mainstream within the U.S. particularly the movies of director John Woo (A Better Tomorrow). The critic launched Woo to govt James (*71*) at Universal who backed Woo’s first American film Hard Target. From there he served as unit publicist on Broken Arrow, and on Jackie Brown. In addition, he contributed to a number of Criterion Collection releases for Hong Kong movies.

From 2004-13 Chute labored at UCLA’s senior author for the School of Theater, Film, and Television. He additionally took a liking to Bollywood movies and wrote critiques about new releases within the style for LA Weekly, Variety and IndieWire.

Chute is predeceased by his dad and mom and survived by his sister Dian Chute; daughter Nora Chute; and spouse, IndieWire editor-at-large Anne Thompson. A personal memorial service might be held in Los Angeles.

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