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David Elliott

Elliott was the Reader's principal film critic from November, 2010, through June of 2012.

Born in Lexington, Ky., and raised in Houston, Tx., the young movie fan began ushering in Chicago theaters in the 1960s. He considers managers Bruce Trinz of the fabled Clark Theater and Samuel Levin of the State-Lake Theater "my true mentors even more than some very fine editors, and such exciting critics as Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris." Elliott began writing reviews at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and not long after graduation was hired by the Chicago Daily News as an arts writer and budding movie critic. He was the Daily News's last film critic, and after the paper folded in 1978 he backed up Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times, also covering art, theater and photography.

He worked briefly at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, was USA Today's first movie critic for two years, and spent almost 24 years as film critic of the San Diego Union-Tribune. He covered films for the lively site SDNN.com during its short run.

Often nominated for the Pulitzer in criticism, Elliott is presently writing a book about great film performances. He lives in San Diego with his wife, the critic and editor Valerie Scher. Their daughter is in art school in New York City, and their son is currently exploring the green world of organic farming.

Of reviewing, Elliott says that "you follow a critic for the style of personal voice. Agreement is seldom very crucial. The critic's job is to stimulate the conversation that keeps culture alive, not feed the furnace of hit fever. I most prize critics who are neither snobs or slobs, who write neither for a coterie of insiders nor for the addicts of buzz. I write for the pleasure of writing, and because movies open so many windows of experience. I welcome responses that make a point."

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