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Richard Sarafian, Director of ‘Vanishing Point,’ Dies at 83

18 September 2013 12:12 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Richard Sarafian, who directed the classic 1971 car chase pic “The Vanishing Point” and numerous TV shows and features, died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif., of complications from pneumonia. He was 83.

Quentin Tarantino paid tribute to the influential film in the “Vanishing Point car” sequence in his film “Death Proof.” Sarafian told TCM.com that his goal with “Vanishing Point” was to physicalize speed. “I had no linear concepts for this one. I made the car… the star of the film. I loved the ambiguity of it all, and fact that it makes people think and apply their own value system into it. My only disappointment was that Gene Hackman wanted to play the part of Kowalski, but the studio wouldn’t let me cast him, so I got saddled with Barry Newman instead,” Sarafian said.

Sarafian also helmed features including “The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing,” with Burt Reynolds; “Sunburn, »

- Pat Saperstein

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