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Encyclopedia > Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael

An undated photograph of Kael.
Born June 19, 1919
Petaluma, California
Died September 3, 2001 (aged 82)
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Occupation Film critic
Writing period 1951 - 1991
Debut works I Lost It at the Movies (1965)
Influenced David Denby, David Edelstein, Elvis Mitchell, A. O. Scott, Quentin Tarantino, Armond White, Stephanie Zacharek

Pauline Kael (June 19, 1919September 3, 2001) was an American film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991. She was known for her "witty, biting, highly opinionated, and sharply focused"[1] movie reviews. She approached movies emotionally, with a strongly colloquial writing style. She was often regarded as the most influential American film critic of her day[2][3] and made a lasting impression on other major critics including Armond White[4] and Roger Ebert, who has said that Kael "had a more positive influence on the climate for film in America than any other single person over the last three decades."[5] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Aerial view of Petaluma, California. ... is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...   Great Barrington is a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. ... This article is about work. ... Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... I Lost It at the Movies (1965) is Pauline Kaels first collection of reviews, covering the years 1954-1965, which was published prior to her long stint at The New Yorker. ... David Denby is an American film critic who writes for The New Yorker. ... David Edelstein is the chief film critic for New York Magazine, as well as the film critic for NPRs Fresh Air and CBS Sunday Morning. ... Elvis Mitchell is a former film critic for the newspaper The New York Times. ... A.O. Scott is a film critic for The New York Times newspaper. ... Quentin Jerome Tarantino (born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, actor, and Oscar winning screenwriter. ... Armond White (born in Detroit, Michigan) is one of Americas leading film critics and has been the chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle since the mid-1990s. ... is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films. ... For other uses, see New Yorker. ... A colloquialism is an informal expression, that is, an expression not used in formal speech or writing. ... Armond White (born in Detroit, Michigan) is one of Americas leading film critics and has been the chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle since the mid-1990s. ... Roger Joseph Ebert (born June 18, 1942) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American film critic. ...

Contents

Biography

Early life and career

Kael was born on a chicken farm in Petaluma, California, to Isaac Paul Kael and Judith Friedman Kael, two Jewish immigrants from Poland. Affected by the Great Depression, her family lost their farm when Kael was eight and moved to San Francisco, California.[2] She began attending college in 1936 at UC Berkeley, where she studied philosophy, literature and the arts before dropping out in 1940. Despite this, she still intended to go on to law school, until falling in with a group of artists,[6] and moving to New York City with the poet Robert Horan. Petaluma is a city located in Sonoma County, California. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... For other uses, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ... San Francisco redirects here. ... The University of California, Berkeley (also known as Cal, UC Berkeley, UCB, or simply Berkeley) is a prestigious, public, coeducational university situated in the foothills of Berkeley, California to the east of San Francisco Bay, overlooking the Golden Gate and its bridge. ... Midtown Manhattan, looking north from the Empire State Building, 2005 New York City (officially named the City of New York) is the most populous city in the state of New York and the entire United States. ...


After three years, she returned to San Francisco and "led a bohemian life," marrying and divorcing three times, writing plays, and working on experimental films.[2] Kael and filmmaker James Broughton had a daughter, Gina, in 1948, though Kael raised her alone.[7] Gina had a serious illness for much of her childhood,[8] and to support her, Kael worked in a series of menial jobs, including stints as an ad-copy writer, cook, and seamstress.[9] In 1953, the editor of City Lights magazine overheard Kael in a coffeeshop arguing about the movies with a friend, and she was asked to review Charlie Chaplin's Limelight.[2] Kael memorably dubbed the movie "slimelight," and began publishing film criticism regularly in magazines. Bohemians are inhabitants of Bohemia, in the Czech Republic. ... James Broughton (November 10, 1913, Modesto, California, USA –May 17, 1999, Port Townsend, Washington, USA) was first and foremost a poet, a playwright, and avant-garde filmmaker. ... Charles Chaplin redirects here. ... Limelight is a 1952 film written, directed by and starring Charles Chaplin, co-starring Claire Bloom, with a guest appearance by Buster Keaton. ...


Even her early reviews were notable for their informality and lack of pretension; Kael later explained, "I worked to loosen my style—to get away from the term-paper pomposity that we learn at college. I wanted the sentences to breathe, to have the sound of a human voice."[10] Kael disparaged the supposed critic's ideal of objectivity, referring to it as "saphead objectivity,"[11] and incorporated aspects of autobiography into her criticism.[9] In a review of the 1946 film Shoeshine that has been ranked among her most memorable,[12] Kael described seeing the film Objectivity is frequently held to be essential to journalistic professionalism (particularly in the United States); however, there is some disagreement about what the concept consists of. ... Cover of the first English edition of 1793 of Benjamin Franklins autobiography. ... Shoeshine (Italian: Sciuscià) is a 1946 film and the first major work directed by Vittorio De Sica. ...

after one of those terrible lovers' quarrels that leave one in a state of incomprehensible despair. I came out of the theater, tears streaming, and overheard the petulant voice of a college girl complaining to her boyfriend, 'Well I don't see what was so special about that movie.' I walked up the street, crying blindly, no longer certain whether my tears were for the tragedy on the screen, the hopelessness I felt for myself, or the alienation I felt from those who could not experience the radiance of Shoeshine. For if people cannot feel Shoeshine, what can they feel?....Later I learned that the man with whom I had quarreled had gone the same night and had also emerged in tears. Yet our tears for each other, and for Shoeshine did not bring us together. Life, as Shoeshine demonstrates, is too complex for facile endings.[12]

Kael broadcast many of her early reviews on the alternative public radio station KPFA in Berkeley, and gained further local-celebrity status as Berkeley Cinema Guild manager from 1955 to 1960. As manager of the two-screen theater, Kael programmed the films that were shown, "unapologetically repeat[ing] her favorites until they also became audience favorites."[13] She also wrote "pungent" capsule reviews of the movies, which her patrons began collecting.[14] KPFA is a listener-sponsored radio station located in Berkeley, California, broadcasting to the San Francisco Bay area on 94. ...


Going mass

Kael continued to juggle writing with other work until she received an offer to publish a book of her criticism. Published in 1965 as I Lost It at the Movies, the collection sold 150,000 paperback copies and was a surprise bestseller. Coinciding with a job at the high-circulation women's magazine McCall's, Kael (as Newsweek put it in a 1966 profile) "went mass."[15] I Lost It at the Movies (1965) is Pauline Kaels first collection of reviews, covering the years 1954-1965, which was published prior to her long stint at The New Yorker. ... Cover of the March 1911 issue McCalls was a monthly American womens magazine that enjoyed great popularity through much of the 20th century, peaking at a readership of six million in 1960. ... The Newsweek logo Newsweek is a weekly news magazine published in New York City and distributed throughout the United States and internationally. ...


The same year, she wrote a blistering review of the phenomenally popular The Sound of Music in McCall's. After mentioning that some of the press had dubbed it "The Sound of Money," Kael called the film's message a "sugarcoated lie that people seem to want to eat."[16] Although, according to legend,[9] this review led to her being fired from McCall's (The New York Times even printed as much in Kael's obituary), both Kael and the magazine's editor have denied this. According to McCall's editor Robert Stein, "I [fired her] months later after she kept panning every commercial movie from Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago to The Pawnbroker and A Hard Day's Night."[17] Rodgers and Hammersteins The Sound of Music is a 1965 film directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews in the lead role. ... Lawrence of Arabia is an award-winning 1962 film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. ... Doctor Zhivago (Russian: Доктор Живаго) is a 1965 film directed by David Lean and loosely based on the famous novel of the same name by Boris Pasternak. ... The Pawnbroker is a novel by Edward Lewis Wallant which tells the story of a concentration camp survivor who suffers flashbacks of his past Nazi imprisonment as he tries to cope with his daily life. ... A Hard Days Night (1964) is a British comedy film originally released by United Artists, written by Alun Owen and starring The Beatles during the height of Beatlemania. ...


Her dismissal from McCall's led to a stint from 1966 to 1967 at The New Republic, whose editors constantly altered Kael's writing without permission. A few days after quitting the Republic "in despair,"[18] Kael was asked by William Shawn to join The New Yorker staff as one of its two film critics (she alternated every six months with Penelope Gilliatt until 1979, after which she became sole film critic.) Her first review in the New Yorker was a rave about Bonnie and Clyde, in which, according to critic David Thomson, "she was right about a film that had bewildered many other critics."[14] For other uses, see New Republic. ... William Shawn (August 31, 1907-December 8, 1992) was an American magazine editor who edited The New Yorker from 1952 until 1987. ... Penelope Gilliatt (March 25, 1932 – May 9, 1993) was an English novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and film critic. ... Bonnie and Clyde (1967) is a film about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, bank robbers who roamed the central United States during the Great Depression. ... David Thomson (born 1941 in London, UK) is a noted film critic in the United States and the author of the lauded New Biographical Dictionary of Film. ...


Her colloquial, brash writing style was initially considered an odd fit with the sophisticated and genteel New Yorker; Kael remembered "getting a letter from an eminent New Yorker writer suggesting that I was trampling through the pages of the magazine with cowboy boots covered with dung."[19] However, it was during her tenure at the New Yorker, a forum that permitted her to write at some length (and with presumably minimal editorial interference), that Kael achieved her greatest prominence; by 1968, Time magazine was referring to her as "one of the country's top movie critics."[20] Kael noted that during this period her reviews were so interesting because the movies were so compelling. “TIME” redirects here. ...


New Yorker tenure

In 1970, Kael received a George Polk Award for her work as a critic at the New Yorker. She continued to publish hardbound collections of her writings, many with (deliberately) suggestive titles such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, When The Lights Go Down, Taking It All In, and others. Her fourth book, Deeper Into Movies (1973), was the first non-fiction book about movies to win a National Book Award. The George Polk Awards is an American journalism award. ... Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is Pauline Kaels second collection of reviews. ... When The Lights Go Down is the sixth collection of movie reviews by the critic Pauline Kael. ... Taking It All In is the eight collection of movie reviews by the critic Pauline Kael. ... Deeper Into Movies (1973) is the collection of Pauline Kaels movie reviews from 1969-1972, which were originally published by The New Yorker. ... The National Book Awards is one of the most preeminent literary prizes in the United States. ...


Kael also wrote philosophical essays on moviegoing, the modern Hollywood film industry, and the lack of courage on the part of audiences (as she perceived it) to explore lesser-known, more challenging movies (she never used the word "film" to describe movies because she felt the word was too elitist). Among her more popular essays were a damning review of Norman Mailer's semi-fictional biography of Marilyn Monroe; an incisive look at Cary Grant's career, and an extensively researched look at Citizen Kane entitled Raising Kane (later reprinted in The Citizen Kane Book). Her argument was that Herman J. Mankiewicz (Citizen Kane's screenwriter) deserved as much credit for the film as Orson Welles, a thesis that provoked controversy and hurt Welles to the point that he considered suing Kael for libel.[11] Norman Mailer, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1948 Norman Kingsley Mailer (born January 31, 1923) is an American novelist, journalist, playwright, screenwriter and film director. ... Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), was a Golden Globe award winning American actress, model and sex symbol. ... This article is about the British actor. ... Citizen Kane is a 1941 mystery/drama film released by RKO Pictures and directed by Orson Welles, his first feature film. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... In English and American law, and systems based on them, libel and slander are two forms of defamation (or defamation of character), which is the tort or delict of making a false statement of fact that injures someones reputation. ...


Kael battled the editors of the New Yorker as much as her own critics. She fought with William Shawn to review the 1972 pornographic film Deep Throat, though she eventually relented.[21] According to Kael, after reading her negative review of Terrence Malick's 1973 movie Badlands, Shawn said, "I guess you didn't know that Terry is like a son to me." Kael responded, "Tough shit, Bill," and her review was printed unchanged.[22] Other than sporadic confrontations with Shawn, Kael said she spent most of her work time at home writing.[23] Deep Throat is an American pornographic movie released in the summer of 1972, written and directed by Gerard Damiano and starring Linda Lovelace (the pseudonym of Linda Susan Boreman). ... Terrence Terry Malick (born November 30, 1943 in Waco, Texas) is an Assyrian American film director. ... Badlands is a 1973 film directed by Terrence Malick from his own script. ...


Upon the release of Kael's 1980 collection When The Lights Go Down, her New Yorker colleague Renata Adler published an 8,000-word review in The New York Review of Books that dismissed the book as "jarringly, piece by piece, line by line, and without interruption, worthless."[24] Adler argued that Kael's post-sixties work contained "nothing certainly of intelligence or sensibility," and faulted her "quirks [and] mannerisms," including Kael's repeated use of the "bullying" imperative and rhetorical question. The piece, which stunned Kael and quickly became infamous in literary circles,[23] was described by Time magazine as "the New York literary Mafia['s] bloodiest case of assault and battery in years."[25] Although Kael refused to respond, Adler's review became known as "the most sensational attempt on Kael's reputation";[26] twenty years later, Salon.com (ironically) referred to Adler's "worthless" denunciation of Kael as her "most famous single sentence."[27] When The Lights Go Down is the sixth collection of movie reviews by the critic Pauline Kael. ... Renata Adler (born October 19, 1938 in Milan, Italy) is an American journalist and writer. ... This article is about the literary magazine. ... Salon. ...


In 1979, Kael accepted an offer from Warren Beatty to be a consultant to Paramount Pictures, but she left the position after only a few months to return to writing criticism in mid 1980. Henry Warren Beatty (born March 30, 1937), better known as Warren Beatty, is an Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning American actor, producer, screenwriter, and director. ... Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and distribution company, based in Hollywood, California. ...


Later years

In the early 1980s, Kael was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. As her illness worsened, she became increasingly depressed about the state of American movies, along with feeling, she explained, that "I had nothing new to say."[22] On March 11, 1991, in an announcement The New York Times referred to as "earth-shattering," Kael announced her retirement from reviewing movies regularly.[28] At the time, Kael explained that she would still write essays for The New Yorker, along with "some reflections and other pieces of writing about movies."[28] However, she ended up publishing no new work in the ensuing ten years, besides an introduction to her 1994 compendium For Keeps. In the introduction (which was reprinted in The New Yorker), Kael stated, in reference to her film criticism, "I'm frequently asked why I don't write my memoirs. I think I have."[29]


Though she published no new writing of her own, Kael was not averse to giving interviews, in which she alternately praised and derided newly-released films and television shows. In a 1998 interview with Modern Maturity, she said she sometimes regretted not being able to review, saying, "A few years ago when I saw Vanya on 42nd Street, I wanted to blow trumpets. Your trumpets are gone once you’ve quit."[22] She died at her home in Massachusetts in 2001, aged 82. AARP logo AARP is a United States-based non-government organization (a special interest group) dedicated to the interests of persons aged 50 and over. ... Vanya on 42nd Street was a 1994 film by Louis Malle and Andre Gregory, based on the play Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov. ...


Opinions

Kael's opinions often were inconsistent with those of other reviewers. Sometimes, she energetically made a case for movies not universally admired, such as The Warriors and, memorably, Last Tango in Paris. (Soon after that film's release, Kael won the 1973 Harvard Lampoon Bosley Award, named after Bosley Crowther. She was described by the Award's judges as "Pauline Kael, whose hysterical encomium loosed Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris on an all-too-trusting world.") She was not especially cruel to some films that had been roasted by many critics, such as the 1972 Man of La Mancha, in which she praised Sophia Loren's performance. She also condemned films that elsewhere attracted admiration, such as It's a Wonderful Life, West Side Story, and Shoah. The originality of her opinions, as well as the forceful way in which she expressed them, won her ardent supporters as well as angry critics. The Warriors is a 1979 film directed by Walter Hill and based on the 1965 novel by Sol Yurick. ... Last Tango in Paris (Italian: Il Tango Ultimo nei Parigi, French: Le Dernier Tango à Paris) is a 1972 film which tells the story of an American widower who is drawn into a sexual relationship with a young, soon-to-be-married Parisian woman. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Bosley Crowther (July 13, 1905 – March 7, 1981) was an American film critic. ... Man of La Mancha is a 1972 film based on the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. ... Sophia Loren (born September 20, 1934) is a motion picture and stage, Academy Award-winning actress, widely considered to be the most popular Italian actress. ... For other uses, see Its a Wonderful Life (disambiguation). ... West Side Story is a 1961 film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. ... Shoah is a nine-hour documentary film completed by Claude Lanzmann in 1985 about the Holocaust (or Shoah). ...


Notable movie reviews by Kael included a venomous criticism of West Side Story that drew harsh replies from the movie's supporters; ecstatic reviews of "Z," and MASH that resulted in enormous boosts to those films' popularity; and enthusiastic reviews of Brian De Palma's early films. Her 'preview' of Robert Altman's 1975 movie Nashville appeared several months before the film was actually completed, in an (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to catapult the film to box office glory. Z is a 1969 French language political thriller directed by Costa Gavras, with a screenplay by Gavras and Jorge Semprún, based on the novel of the same name by Vassilis Vassilikos. ... MASH is a 1970 satirical American dark comedy film directed by Robert Altman and based on the novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker. ... Brian De Palma (born Brian Russell DePalma on September 11, 1940 in Newark, New Jersey) is a controversial American film director, best known for directing the Al Pacino classic Scarface, and the Academy Award-winning The Untouchables. ... For other persons named Robert Altman, see Robert Altman (disambiguation). ... Nashville is a 1975 film which mixes themes of U.S. presidential politics with those of the country music and gospel music businesses in Nashville, Tennessee. ...


Nixon "quote"

Kael is frequently quoted as having said, in the wake of Richard Nixon's landslide victory in the 1972 presidential election, that she "couldn't believe Nixon had won," since no one she knew had voted for him. The quote is sometimes cited by conservatives (such as Bernard Goldberg, in his book Bias), as an example of allegedly clueless New York liberal insularity. There are variations as to the exact wording, the speaker (it has variously been attributed to other liberal women, including Katharine Graham, Susan Sontag, and Joan Didion), [1] [2] and the timing (in addition to Nixon's victory, it has been claimed to have been uttered after Ronald Reagan's re-election in 1984.) [3] Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. ... Bernard Bernie Goldberg (born 1945) is an American writer, journalist, and political commentator. ... Bias book cover Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News is a book by Bernard Goldberg, formerly of CBS, giving detailed examples of liberal bias in TV news reporting. ... Katharine Meyer Graham (June 16, 1917 – July 17, 2001) was the head of The Washington Post newspaper for more than two decades, overseeing its most famous period, the Watergate coverage that helped bring down President Richard Nixon. ... Susan Sontag (January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004) was a well-known American essayist, novelist, intellectual, filmmaker, and activist. ... Joan Didion (born December 5, 1934) is an American writer, known as a journalist, essayist, and novelist. ... Reagan redirects here. ...


There is, in fact, no record of Kael making such a remark. The story may have originated in a December 28, 1972 New York Times article on a lecture Kael gave at the Modern Language Association, in which the newspaper quoted her as saying, "I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them."[30] The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Fifth Edition The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) is the principal professional association in the United States for scholars of literature and literary criticism. ...


Views on violence

Kael had a taste for anti-hero movies that violated taboos involving sex and violence, and this reportedly alienated some of her readers. She also had a strong dislike for films that she felt were manipulative or appealed in superficial ways to conventional attitudes and feelings.


She was an enthusiastic supporter of the violent action films of Sam Peckinpah and early Walter Hill, as evidenced in her collection 5001 Nights at the Movies, which includes positive reviews of Hill's Hard Times (1975), The Warriors (1979), and Southern Comfort (1981), as well as Peckinpah's entire body of work. Although she initially dismissed John Boorman's Point Blank (1967) for what she felt was its pointless brutality, she later acknowledged it was "intermittently dazzling" with "more energy and invention than Boorman seems to know what to do with...one comes out exhilarated but bewildered."[31] David Samuel Sam Peckinpah (February 21, 1925 – December 28, 1984) was an American film director who achieved iconic status following the release of his 1969 Western epic The Wild Bunch. ... Walter Hill (born January 10, 1942 in California) is a prominent American film director, who is known in particular for his revival of the Western. ... Hard Times is a 1975 movie starring Charles Bronson as Chaney, a street fighter who travels to Louisiana during the Great Depression to make his living in illegal boxing matches. ... The Warriors is a 1979 film directed by Walter Hill and based on the 1965 novel by Sol Yurick. ... Southern Comfort is a film from 1981 that was directed by Walter Hill, working from a script by Hill, longtime collaborator David Giler, and Michael Kane. ... John Boorman (born January 18, 1933 in Shepperton, Surrey, United Kingdom), is a British filmmaker, currently based in Ireland, best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur, and The General. ... Point Blank is a 1967 crime film directed by John Boorman and starring Lee Marvin, adapted from the classic pulp novel The Hunter by Donald E. Westlake, writing as Richard Stark. ...


However, Kael did respond negatively to some action films that she felt pushed what she described as "right-wing" or "fascist" agendas. While praising Don Siegel's Dirty Harry (1971) as "trim, brutal, and exciting; it was directed in the sleekest style by the veteran urban-action director...," she labelled it a "right-wing fantasy [that is] a remarkably simple-minded attack on liberal values"[31]. She also called it "fascist medievalism". [32] In an otherwise extremely positive critique of Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, Kael concluded that the controversial director had made 'the first American film that is a fascist work of art'.[32] Don Siegel (October 26, 1912 - April 20, 1991) was an influential American film director. ... For other uses, see Dirty Harry (disambiguation). ... Straw Dogs is a 1971 film directed by Sam Peckinpah. ...


In her negative review of Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, Kael explained how she felt some directors who used brutal imagery in their films were de-sensitizing audiences to violence: “Kubrick” redirects here. ... This article is about the film. ...

At the movies, we are gradually being conditioned to accept violence as a sensual pleasure. The directors used to say they were showing us its real face and how ugly it was in order to sensitize us to its horrors. You don't have to be very keen to see that they are now in fact de- sensitizing us. They are saying that everyone is brutal, and the heroes must be as brutal as the villains or they turn into fools. There seems to be an assumption that if you're offended by movie brutality, you are somehow playing into the hands of the people who want censorship. But this would deny those of us who don't believe in censorship the use of the only counterbalance: the freedom of the press to say that there's anything conceivably damaging in these films—the freedom to analyze their implications. If we don't use this critical freedom, we are implicitly saying that no brutality is too much for us—that only squares and people who believe in censorship are concerned with brutality.

Alleged homophobia

In preface to a 1983 interview with Kael for the gay magazine Mandate, Sam Staggs wrote that "she has always carried on a love/hate affair with her gay legions....like the bitchiest queen in gay mythology, she has a sharp remark about everything."[33] However, in the early eighties, largely in response to her review of the 1981 drama Rich and Famous, Kael faced notable accusations of homophobia. First remarked on by Stuart Byronin in The Village Voice, according to gay writer Craig Seligman the accusations eventually "took on a life of their own and did real damage to her reputation."[34] Mandate is a monthly gay pornographic magazine published in the United States and distributed internationally since April 1975. ... Original film poster for Rich And Famous showing Candice Bergen and Jacqueline Bisset Rich And Famous is a 1981 comedy drama film made by Jaquet and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer It is a remake of the 1943 Warner Bros film Old Acquaintance starring Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins. ... This article is about a New York newspaper. ...


In her review, Kael called the straight-themed Rich and Famous "more like a homosexual fantasy," saying that one female character's affairs "are creepy, because they don't seem like what a woman would get into."[35] Byron, who "hit the ceiling" after reading the review, was joined by The Celluloid Closet author Vito Russo, who argued that Kael equated promiscuity with homosexuality, "as though straight women have never been promiscuous or been given the permission to be promiscuous."[35] The Celluloid Closet (1995) is a documentary film directed and written by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. ... Vito Russo (1946 New York, NY - 7 November 1990 Los Angeles CA) was a gay activist and author who wrote the 1981 book The Celluloid Closet. ...


In response to her review of Rich and Famous, several critics reappraised Kael's earlier reviews of the sixties gay-themed movies Victim and The Children's Hour, including a wisecrack Kael made about the lesbian-themed Children's Hour: "I always thought this was why lesbians needed sympathy—that there isn't much they can do."[36] Craig Seligman has defended Kael, saying that her perceived "bigotry" was simply her showing "enough ease with the topic to be able to crack jokes—in a dark period when other reviewers....'felt that if homosexuality were not a crime it would spread.'"[37] Kael herself rejected the accusations as "craziness," adding, "I don't see how anybody who took the trouble to check out what I've actually written about movies with homosexual elements in them could believe that stuff."[38] Victim is a 1961 British film directed by Basil Dearden, starring Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms. ... For other uses, see The Childrens Hour. ...


Influence

Almost as soon as she began writing for The New Yorker, Kael carried a great deal of influence among fellow critics. In the early seventies, Cinerama distributors "initiate[d] a policy of individual screenings for each critic because her remarks [during the film] were affecting her fellow critics."[39] In the seventies and eighties, Kael cultivated friendships with a group of young, mostly male critics, some of whom emulated her distinctive writing style. Referred to derisively as the "Paulettes," they came to dominate national film criticism in the 1990s. Critics who have acknowledged Kael's influence include, among many, David Edelstein of New York Magazine, Michael Sragow of the Baltimore Sun, Armond White of the New York Sun, Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com, and A. O. Scott of the New York Times. It was repeatedly alleged that, after her retirement, Kael's "most ardent devotees deliberate[d] with each other [to] forge a common School of Pauline position (with Kael's assent?) before articles [were] written."[40] When confronted with the rumor that she ran "a conspiratorial network of young critics," Kael said she believed that critics imitated her style rather than her actual opinions, stating, "A number of critics take phrases and attitudes from me, and those takings stick out-they’re not integral to the writer’s temperament or approach."[41] Cinerama is the trademarked name for a widescreen process which works by simultaneously projecting images from three synchronized 35 mm projectors onto a huge, deeply-curved screen, subtending 146° of arc, and for the corporation which was formed to market it. ... David Edelstein is the chief film critic for New York Magazine, as well as the film critic for NPRs Fresh Air and CBS Sunday Morning. ... This article or section needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ... The Baltimore Sun is the major newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland, with a daily press run of about 430,000 copies, and a Sunday run of 540,000 copies. ... The modern New York Sun is a daily newspaper published in New York City. ... Salon. ... A.O. Scott is a film critic for The New York Times newspaper. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ...


When asked in 1998 if she thought her criticism had affected the way films were made, Kael deflected the question, stating, "If I say yes, I’m an egotist, and if I say no, I’ve wasted my life."[22] Several directors' careers were indisputably affected by her, though, most notably Taxi Driver screenwriter Paul Schrader, who was accepted at UCLA Film School's graduate program on Kael's recommendation. Under her mentoring, Schrader worked as a film critic before taking up screenwriting and directing full-time. Also, film critic Derek Malcolm claimed that, "If a director was praised by Kael, he or she was generally allowed to work, since the money-men knew there would be similar approbation across a wide field of publications."[11] Alternately, Kael was said to be able to prevent filmmakers from working; David Lean claimed that her criticism of his work "kept him from making a movie for 14 years."[42] This article is about the 1976 American film. ... Paul Joseph Schrader (born July 22, 1946 in Grand Rapids, Michigan) is a screenwriter and film director, renowned for his characters that fall into desperation while their world crumbles around them. ... The UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television (TFT), located in Los Angeles, USA, is unique in that it combines all three (theater, film, and television) of these aspects into a single school. ... Derek Malcolm (born 1939) is a British film critic and historian. ... Sir David Lean, KBE (March 25, 1908 – April 16, 1991) was an English film director and producer, best remembered for big-screen epics such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Doctor Zhivago . ...


Though he began directing movies after she retired, Quentin Tarantino was also influenced by Kael. He read her criticism voraciously growing up and said that Kael was "as influential as any director was in helping me develop my aesthetic."[29] Quentin Jerome Tarantino (born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, actor, and Oscar winning screenwriter. ...


Bibliography

Books

I Lost It at the Movies (1965) is Pauline Kaels first collection of reviews, covering the years 1954-1965, which was published prior to her long stint at The New Yorker. ... Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is Pauline Kaels second collection of reviews. ... Going Steady is the third collection of movie reviews by the critic Pauline Kael, comprising the years 1968-1969, when she first began her film-reviewing duties at The New Yorker. ... Deeper Into Movies (1973) is the collection of Pauline Kaels movie reviews from 1969-1972, which were originally published by The New Yorker. ... Reeling (1976) was Pauline Kaels fifth collection of movie reviews, covering the years 1972 - 1975. ... When The Lights Go Down is the sixth collection of movie reviews by the critic Pauline Kael. ... Taking It All In is the eight collection of movie reviews by the critic Pauline Kael. ... State of the Art is the seventh collection of movie reviews by the critic Pauline Kael. ... Hooked is the ninth collection of movie reviews by the critic Pauline Kael, covering the years 1985 to 1988. ... Movie Love (1991) is the tenth and last collection of movie reviews by the critic Pauline Kael, from the year 1988, until she resigned from regular film reviewing duties at The New Yorker in 1991. ...

Selected reviews and essays

  • "Trash, Art, and the Movies", essay published in the Feb. 1969 issue of Harper's.
  • "Raising Kane", book-length essay on the making of Citizen Kane published in the Feb. 20, 1971 and Feb. 27, 1971 issues of The New Yorker.
  • "Stanley Strangelove", review of A Clockwork Orange from a January 1972 issue of The New Yorker.
  • "The Man From Dream City", profile of Cary Grant from the August 14, 1975 issue of The New Yorker.
  • "Why Are Movies So Bad? Or, The Numbers", essay published in the June 23, 1980 issue of The New Yorker.
  • "A Passage to India, Unloos'd Dreams", review of A Passage to India from the January 14, 1985 issue of The New Yorker.

An issue of Harpers Magazine from 1905 Another issue, from November 2004 Harpers Magazine (or simply Harpers) is a monthly magazine of politics and culture. ... Citizen Kane is a 1941 mystery/drama film released by RKO Pictures and directed by Orson Welles, his first feature film. ... This article is about the film. ... This article is about the British actor. ... A Passage to India is a 1984 film directed by David Lean, based on the novel of the same name by E. M. Forster. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Pauline Kael. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved on 2006-09-01.
  2. ^ a b c d Van Gelder, Lawrence. "Pauline Kael, Provocative and Widely Imitated New Yorker Film Critic, Dies at 82" (fee required), The New York Times, 2001-09-04. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
  3. ^ Remembering Pauline Kael. New Yorker. Retrieved on 2006-09-01.
  4. ^ Ross, Matthew. The Critic (Interview with Armond White). Filmmaker. Retrieved on 2007-01-19.
  5. ^ Feeney, Mark. Viewing the parcels of Pauline. Boston Globe. Retrieved on 2007-01-19.
  6. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,3604,546921,00.html
  7. ^ Seligman (2004). p. 11.
  8. ^ Brantley (1996). p. 10.
  9. ^ a b c Tucker, Ken. "A gift for effrontery", Salon.com, 1999-02-09. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
  10. ^ Brantley (1996). p. 95.
  11. ^ a b c Houston, Penelope. "Obituary: Pauline Kael", The Guardian, 2001-09-05. Retrieved on 2007-04-19. 
  12. ^ a b Seligman (2004). p. 37.
  13. ^ Hom, Lisa. "All Hail Kael: A film series remembers the uncompromising New Yorker critic Pauline Kael", San Francisco Weekly, 2001-11-21. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
  14. ^ a b Thomson, David (2002). "Pauline Kael." The New Biographical Dictionary of Film. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-3757-0940-1. p. 449-50.
  15. ^ Brantley (1996). p. 3-4.
  16. ^ Kael, Pauline (1968). Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Toronto: Bantam. ISBN 0-31648-163-7.  p. 214-5.
  17. ^ "THE SOUND OF MUSIC: Kael's Fate", The New York Times, 2000-09-03. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
  18. ^ Brantley (1996). p. 12
  19. ^ Seligman (2004). p. 12.
  20. ^ "The Pearls of Pauline", Time, 1968-07-12. Retrieved on 2007-04-19. 
  21. ^ Davis (2002). p. 32.
  22. ^ a b c d Goodman, Susan. "She Lost It At the Movies" (reprint), Modern Maturity, March/April 1998. Retrieved on 2007-04-19. 
  23. ^ a b Davis (2002). p. 40.
  24. ^ Adler, Renata. "The Perils of Pauline", The New York Review of Books, 1980-08-14. Retrieved on 2007-04-19. 
  25. ^ "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Ouch Ouch)", Time, 1980-08-04. Retrieved on 2007-04-19. 
  26. ^ Seligman (2004). p. 137.
  27. ^ Johnson, Dennis Loy. "Interview with the heretic", Salon.com, 2000-08-21. Retrieved on 2007-04-19. 
  28. ^ a b Maslin, Janet. "For Pauline Kael, Retirement as Critic Won't Be a Fade-Out" (fee required), The New York Times, 1991-03-13. Retrieved on 2007-04-19. 
  29. ^ a b Corliss, Richard. "That Wild Old Woman", Time, 1994-11-07. Retrieved on 2007-04-19. 
  30. ^ Shenker, Israel. "2 Critics Here Focus on Films As Language Conference Opens" (fee required), The New York Times, 1972-12-28. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
  31. ^ a b Kael, Pauline. 5001 Nights at the Movies, Henry Holt and Company, 1991. ISBN 0-8050-1367-9
  32. ^ a b Kael, Pauline. Deeper Into Movies, Warner Books, 1973. ISBN 0-7145-0941-8
  33. ^ Brantley (1996). p. 91.
  34. ^ Seligman (2004). p. 151.
  35. ^ a b Seligman (2004). p. 152.
  36. ^ Seligman (2004). p. 155.
  37. ^ Seligman (2004). p. 156.
  38. ^ Brantley (1996). p. 96.
  39. ^ Brantley (1996). p. 16.
  40. ^ "Pauletteburo?: Fur flies over the Kael "kopy kats"", The Phoenix, 1997-03-27. Retrieved on 2007-04-19. 
  41. ^ Espen, Hal. "Kael Talks," The New Yorker 21 March 1994. p. 134-43.
  42. ^ Jacobs, Diane. "REVIEW: Running Time: 17,356,680 Minutes", The New York Times, 1999-11-14. Retrieved on 2007-04-19. 

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Boston Globe is the most widely-circulated daily newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts and in the greater New England region. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Renata Adler (born October 19, 1938 in Milan, Italy) is an American journalist and writer. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Janet Maslin is a book critic for the daily New York Times. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Richard Corliss is a writer for Time magazine who focuses on movies, with the occasional article on music or sports, and has distinguished himself for his clever way with words. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Brantley, Will, ed. (1996). Conversations with Pauline Kael. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 0-87805-899-0.
  • Davis, Francis (2002). Afterglow: A Last Conversation With Pauline Kael. Cambridge: Da Capo. ISBN 0-306-81230-4. 
  • Seligman, Craig (2004). Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me. New York: Counterpoint. ISBN 1-58243-311-9. 

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

External links

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Pauline Kael Bio (691 words)
Prolific, enduring columnist for The New Yorker magazine, Pauline Kael remains the most influential American film critic of the last 50 years.
Kael settled in Berkeley after graduating, made some short films, and wound up managing movie theaters and broadcasting for the Pacifica radio station.
When Pauline Kael sits down to review a new film, she is able to sum up pertinent details from the thousands of American and foreign films that preceded it.
Pauline Kael - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1827 words)
Kael was born on a chicken farm in Petaluma, California, to Jewish immigrants from Poland[4].
Kael also wrote philosophical essays on moviegoing, the modern-day Hollywood film industry, the lack of courage on the part of audiences (as she perceived it) to explore lesser-known, more challenging movies (she never used the word "film" to describe movies because she felt the word was too elitist).
Pauline Kael was portrayed by actress Mary Charlotte Wilcox in an 1982 episode of SCTV.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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