James Monaco, 77


James F. Monaco died in the early morning of November 25, 2019, 10 days after his 77th birthday. The cause of death was vascular disease.
The eldest son of George C. and Susanne Monaco, he earned degrees from Muhlenberg College and Columbia University.
M. Monaco was a prominent film critic and scholar, teaching at The New School, Columbia University, New York University, and the City University of New York. He authored and edited more than a dozen books on film and media, which have been published in 14 languages, including the best-selling “How to Read a Film” (in book and digital form).
In 1982, he founded Baseline, an online database for the film and television industry, which foreshadowed the internet era. He also founded publishing companies New York Zoetrope, UNET, and Harbor Electronic Publishing. In 2012, he co-founded Long Island Nature Organization, which supports research and education about Long Island’s natural world.
Mr. Monaco loved teaching children about nature. Among other things, he was an inveterate gardener, a devoted localist, a citizen-scientist, an activist for honesty, and a maker of jams and jellies.
He grew up in Little Neck, Queens, New York, and he lived in Manhattan and Sag Harbor.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Schenker; children Andrew (Jennifer) Lemanski; granddaughters Katie and Annie, Charles (Rachel Koteen), and Margaret (Daniel Parilla); sister Judith Callet; and brother George. He was predeceased by brother Robert.
Memorial donations may be made to Canio’s Cultural Cafe, 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963, caniosculturalcafe.org.