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Pauline Kael

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ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 2007
I am sure that the Paulettes, the acolytes of the late film critic Pauline Kael, will yell and scream at the suggestion in Jay A. Fernandez's Scriptland column that Kael was an auteurist ["Scary Tale Has a Scarier Subtext," Jan. 3]. After all, it was Kael who first condemned auteurism in her seminal 1963 essay "Circles and Squares." She followed that up with a 1967 essay on the writers of "Bonnie and Clyde" and her famous 1971 essay on Herman Mankiewicz as the writer of "Citizen Kane."
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Who remembers the great names of the city room? In a single generation, someone said, paraphrasing Kipling, they are one with Nineveh and Tyre, covered over with dust and forgotten. Which is one reason why it was so satisfying to see the sizable obituaries for film critic Judith Crist, who died Tuesday at age 90. Though regularly passed over in the deserved attention paid to the twin towers of Andrew Sarris and Pauline Kael, Crist was a force to be reckoned with in her prime, writing successively for the New York Herald Tribune, New York Magazine and TV Guide and appearing regularly on "The Today Show.
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BOOKS
September 22, 1991 | Charles Solomon
During her 24-year tenure at the New Yorker, Pauline Kael's pungent essays established her as the most respected film critic in the United States. Her opinions often have been controversial, but Kael undoubtedly loves the medium of motion pictures, and she never allows hype or superficial emotional appeals to cloud her judgements.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2012 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Chris Marker, an enigmatic figure in French cinema who avoided publicity and was loath to screen his films yet was often ranked with countrymen Alain Resnais and Jean-Luc Godard as an avant-garde master, died at his home in Paris on Sunday, his 91st birthday. His death was confirmed by the French Culture Ministry, but the cause was not given. Marker, who worked well into his 80s, made more than two dozen films during a six-decade career. Known as a pioneer of the film essay, he was most admired for "La Jetee" (1962)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 1985 | PAUL ROSENFIELD
A Kaelette is not a computer microchip. Nor is it a backup singer in a rhythm-and-blues band. A Kaelette is a creature, male or female, whose writing bears an uncanny resemblance to the New Yorker's fabled film critic. A Kaelette is, to be blunt, a knock-off--a road-company Pauline Kael whose existence the real Pauline Kael acknowledges, but doesn't approve of. Originals are bored by their disciples, and as Kael puts it, "I am my own touchstone."
BOOKS
September 29, 2002 | SUSIE LINFIELD, Susie Linfield teaches in the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at New York University and is a contributing writer to Book World. She is writing an intellectual biography of Pauline Kael.
Jazz critic Francis Davis spent two days interviewing Pauline Kael at her home in the Berkshires in July 2000; she would die of Parkinson's, at age 82, on Labor Day of the following summer. "Afterglow" thereby bills itself as her "last conversation." Though Kael's characteristic tart wit and lapidary intelligence light up this slim volume, it is essentially a sad document. Not because Kael was in decline, or backtracking from her most provocative ideas--quite the contrary.
BOOKS
October 9, 1994 | David Ehrenstein, David Ehrenstein is a free-lance writer and author of "The Scorsese Picture."
'Get out of here with your cowboys boots," screamed the anonymous letter sent to Pauline Kael shortly after she became film critic for the New Yorker in 1967. Recognizing it as the handiwork of one of that magazine's contributors "whose prose seemed to be rolled like an English lawn," Kael wasn't irritated--just surprised. "I didn't have cowboy boots," she said, recalling the incident in a recent interview, "I've never had cowboy boots." To anyone who has ever met this petite, personable woman, it's rather hard to imagine her as the Billy the Kid of belles-lettres.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 1, 2011 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Lucking Out My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York James Wolcott Doubleday: 260 pp., $25.95 James Wolcott, takedown artist extraordinaire, is a byline that sends shivers of schadenfreude up the spines of fellow writers - at least when he's writing about someone else. A literary journalist who blows raspberries at mandarins, he's a mainstay of Vanity Fair's luxurious editorial lineup, his flashy prose outshining those gleaming, Mephistophelean ads peddling fantasies of the lucky one-percenters, his crap-cutting manner adding a bracing machete-whoosh to the magazine's day-spa elevator music.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 9, 1992
"The level of acting in movies right now is much stronger than the writing. Not that good scripts don't get written, they just don't get into production. I think it's the actors that are sustaining movies at the moment." --Pauline Kael, former New Yorker film critic, in Mirabella.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 26, 1985
As 15-year-old-avid moviegoers, we really think you scraped the bottom of the barrel with this one. Why waste three pages of space on eight kids who have only one thing in common: delusions of being Pauline Kael. BEN CALLET, CHRIS TINKHAM Los Angeles
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2012 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Film critic Andrew Sarris began his rise to prominence in the early 1960s when, fresh off an extended visit to Paris, he became a primary spokesman for a theory that would reverberate throughout the cinema world. Screenwriters and producers may have thought they wielded the most influence. But Sarris, inspired by what Francois Truffaut had called the "politique des auteurs," introduced to America the controversial notion that, despite the collaborative nature of filmmaking, some directors are the "authors" of their movies and that the best directors, by imbuing a movie with their personal vision, make the best films.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 1, 2011 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Lucking Out My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York James Wolcott Doubleday: 260 pp., $25.95 James Wolcott, takedown artist extraordinaire, is a byline that sends shivers of schadenfreude up the spines of fellow writers - at least when he's writing about someone else. A literary journalist who blows raspberries at mandarins, he's a mainstay of Vanity Fair's luxurious editorial lineup, his flashy prose outshining those gleaming, Mephistophelean ads peddling fantasies of the lucky one-percenters, his crap-cutting manner adding a bracing machete-whoosh to the magazine's day-spa elevator music.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2008 | Richard Eder, Richard Eder, a former Times book critic, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1987.
How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken Essays Daniel Mendelsohn Harper: 456 pp., $26.95 -- Here, among the flight of winged darts that pierce the critical essays of Daniel Mendelsohn: Quentin Tarantino is "incapable of saying anything about real life because everything he knows comes from the movies." There is a passivity despite the spectacular goriness, as if instead of confronting an audience with his work, he were a member of the audience watching it. "People worry about Tarantino because they think he represents a generation raised on violence; but it's as a representative of a generation raised on television reruns and video replays that he really scares you to death."
ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 2007
I am sure that the Paulettes, the acolytes of the late film critic Pauline Kael, will yell and scream at the suggestion in Jay A. Fernandez's Scriptland column that Kael was an auteurist ["Scary Tale Has a Scarier Subtext," Jan. 3]. After all, it was Kael who first condemned auteurism in her seminal 1963 essay "Circles and Squares." She followed that up with a 1967 essay on the writers of "Bonnie and Clyde" and her famous 1971 essay on Herman Mankiewicz as the writer of "Citizen Kane."
BOOKS
September 29, 2002 | SUSIE LINFIELD, Susie Linfield teaches in the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at New York University and is a contributing writer to Book World. She is writing an intellectual biography of Pauline Kael.
Jazz critic Francis Davis spent two days interviewing Pauline Kael at her home in the Berkshires in July 2000; she would die of Parkinson's, at age 82, on Labor Day of the following summer. "Afterglow" thereby bills itself as her "last conversation." Though Kael's characteristic tart wit and lapidary intelligence light up this slim volume, it is essentially a sad document. Not because Kael was in decline, or backtracking from her most provocative ideas--quite the contrary.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2001
Maybe I was abducted by space aliens and had a false memory implanted in my brain (or maybe a few film critics in town were abducted and had their memory banks wiped clean), but why do the plot line and characters of "K-PAX" sound so oddly familiar? A psychiatrist with family problems who finds himself dealing with a mental patient who may or may not be an alien? Is this a whiff of deja vu or maybe a parallel universe? I'm not sure which book this film claims to be based on, but the obvious cinematic progenitor is the very fine Argentine film "Man Facing Southeast," circa 1986, which is about ... a psychiatrist with family problems who finds himself dealing with a mental patient who may or may not be an alien.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 1988
Goldstein wrote a fine, thoughtful article on the likes on pseudo-critics like Rex Reed and Michael Medved, but he left out one point: Did it ever occur to him that folks (like me and my friends) watch these nerdy programs to see the film clips, not the silly, bubble-brained hosts? Even viewing studio-selected segments, one can gain an idea of how good or bad a film might be. Also, if anyone is interested in a real critic they could just read Pauline Kael in the New Yorker.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2001
Writing ethical movie reviews is not brain surgery ("Scathing Reviews of Junkets," July 20). There is a known system for doing it. Pauline Kael, the famed reviewer for the New Yorker, did it throughout her career. You simply take your money or your publication's money and go to a theater, stand in line and buy a ticket. Then you go in and watch the movie with regular moviegoers, not stars, not industry insiders, not publicists, not even other film critics. The obvious disadvantage of this system for a daily newspaper is that by avoiding not only junkets, but free movie studio pre-release screenings, the review cannot appear on the morning the film opens in theaters.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 7, 2001 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Pauline Kael was the most lauded film critic of her time. She wrote with an unparalleled vigor and passion, with brilliant insight and a ferocious wit. She showed that film criticism was worth taking seriously at the same time she was entertaining her readers as no other reviewer could. Her reviews in the New Yorker were must reading for anyone would cared about movies.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 5, 2001 | CHARLES CHAMPLIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Pauline Kael, who died on Monday at age 82 after a long, debilitating illness, was one of a small handful of film critics who proved by the brilliance of their work that the movies were to be taken seriously as an art form, whatever the academic establishment had originally thought. Dwight Macdonald, James Agee and Andrew Sarris have had immense influence on the shaping of serious writing about film.
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