Published Dec 19, 2007John Harkness, senior film writer for Torontos NOW Magazine passed away yesterday.
Harkness was a part of the weekly alternative paper since its conception in 1981 where he honed his craft of writing about film, music and books. He also contributed to Sights and Sounds, Take One and the Cinematheque Ontario program. Additionally he spent many years as a trade reporter for Screen International, Cinema Canada and wrote a book on the Oscars, The Academy Awards Handbook that is in its eighth edition.
"Anyone who wants to review film, said Harkness, "Should spend a year covering the industry. It tends to knock out a lot of ones illusions about the art of cinema. He was born in Montreal in 1954, but grew up in Halifax and Sarnia before he went to Carleton University for his degree in English. He then went on to Columbia University in New York City for post-graduate education. While there he studied with American critic Andrew Sarris.
"John Harkness was simply the best film critic in Canada over the last 26 years," says NOW editor/publisher Michael Hollett. "He has been an essential element of NOW Magazine's success, and his unique vision, bravery and art in expressing it inspired all of us at NOW to strive.