First remarked upon by Stuart Byron 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". [90], In January 2000, filmmaker Michael Moore posted a recollection of Kael's response[91] to his documentary film Roger & Me (1989). Auteur theory went out of style in the 60s, finds Sarris and other academics pretentious. [14], Kael continued to juggle writing with other work until she received an offer to publish a book of her criticism. [45], In the early 1980s, Kael was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which has a cognitive component. One of Kael’s abiding principles is that we should not be false to what we enjoy. [25] It was the first non-fiction book about film to win a National Book Award. There will no doubt be many discussions of Kael's work and influence and with the publication of Brian Kellow's new biography Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark, and the Library of America's forthcoming collection of her work. [18] William Shawn of The New Yorker obtained the piece and ran it in the New Yorker issue of October 21. More Pauline Kael in the July 2019 issue of Sight & Sound Mission critical. [8] In a review of Vittorio De Sica's 1946 neorealist film Shoeshine that has been ranked among her most memorable,[11] Kael described seeing the film, ... after one of those terrible lovers' quarrels that leave one in a state of incomprehensible despair. Pauline Kael (1919-2001) was an American film critic for The New Yorker.A personality of great influence in American cinema, she became known for her persuasive writing style and keen opinions, often in countercurrent with those of her contemporaries [such as her negative reviews of La Notte (1961) and West Side Story (1961)], using a personal style unable to fit into any dogma. In the early 1970s, Cinerama distributors "initiate[d] a policy of individual screenings for each critic because her remarks [during the film] were affecting her fellow critics". Referred to derisively as the "Paulettes," they came to dominate national film criticism in the 1990s. Kael was born on a chicken farm in Petaluma, California, to Isaac Paul Kael and Judith Kael (née Friedman), Jewish emigrants from Poland. [69][70], The quote quickly turned into an urban legend that Kael had instead stated something like "I can't believe Nixon won. Sarris' emphasis on directoral meaning is too romanticized. Read your article online and download the PDF from your email or your account. Those of us who argue against the Auteur Theory today are not rehashing the Sarris-Kael imbroglio. 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. She and Sarris went back and forth over … What was so incredibly appalling and shocking is how she printed outright lies about my movie. ... Later I learned that the man with whom I had quarreled had gone the same night and had also emerged in tears. On 25 July 1982, at London’s National Film Theatre, Pauline Kael invited questions from the audience. Cahiers du Cinéma: History Started in April 1951 with: Re-inventing the basic principles of Film Criticism and Theory Joseph-Marie Lo Duca Jacques Doniol-Valcroze André Bazin In Issue 31, 1954 François Truffaut, influential film critic and filmmaker and one of the founders of the PAULINE KAEL: TOP RATED FILMS. Kael's Main Argument [28], Commissioned as an introduction to the shooting script in The Citizen Kane Book, "Raising Kane" was first printed in two consecutive issues of The New Yorker. T he best way to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Pauline Kael, one of the most influential film critics in the short history of cinema, is, of course, to read her work. : Fur flies over the Kael "kopy kats, "REVIEW: Running Time: 17,356,680 Minutes", "Pauline Kael, the Truth, and Nothing But ...", "20th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards", Film Hall of Fame: Support – Online Film & Television Association, Afterglow: A Last Conversation With Pauline Kael, Pauline Kael's Legacy Built By Straying From Herd-NPR article, Afterglow: A Last Conversation with Pauline Kael,, 20th-century American non-fiction writers, Neurological disease deaths in the United States, University of California, Berkeley alumni, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 2012: Posthumous induction into the OFTA Film Hall of Fame Behind the Scenes Film Criticism, Online Film & Television Association, This page was last edited on 30 December 2020, at 03:49. In October 1967, Kael wrote a lengthy essay on Bonnie and Clyde, which the magazine declined to publish. In 1970, Kael received a George Polk Award for her work as a critic at the New Yorker. Kael responded, "Tough shit, Bill," and her review was printed unchanged. She preferred to analyze films without thinking about the director's other works. "[61] 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". Critic Pauline Kael led the charge against auteur theory. [2] In 1948, Kael and the filmmaker James Broughton had a daughter, Gina, whom Kael would raise alone. And I don't mean that facetiously. 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.”[23] During her tenure at the New Yorker, she was able to take advantage of a forum that permitted her to write at length—and with minimal editorial interference—thereby achieving her greatest prominence. [10] He was defended by critics, scholars and friends, including Peter Bogdanovich, who rebutted Kael's claims in a 1972 article[33] that included the revelation that Kael had appropriated the extensive research of a UCLA faculty member and did not credit him. In 1953, the editor of City Lights magazine overheard Kael arguing about films in a coffeeshop with a friend and asked her to review Charlie Chaplin's Limelight. "[42] Although Kael refused to respond, Adler's review became known as "the most sensational attempt on Kael's reputation";[43] two decades later, (ironically) referred to Adler's "worthless" denunciation of Kael as her "most famous single sentence. [93], Author portrait of Kael from the dust jacket of, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, San Francisco International Film Festival, "Pauline Kael, Provocative and Widely Imitated New Yorker Film Critic, Dies at 82", "Cinema-Guild and Studio in Berkeley, CA", "All Hail Kael: A film series remembers the uncompromising, "Eighty-Five From the Archive: Pauline Kael", "The Frightening Power of "Bonnie and Clyde, "50 Years Later: How Bonnie and Clyde Violently Divided Film Critics", "Roaring at the Screen with Pauline Kael", "How Hollywood Seduced and Abandoned Critic Pauline Kael (Exclusive Book Excerpt)", "For Pauline Kael, Retirement as Critic Won't Be a Fade-Out", Cinema Scope|I Lost It at the Movies: Charlie Kaufman's Antkind and I'm Thinking of Ending Things, Pauline Kael: Last Broadcast, KPFA and Report to the Subscriber by Trevor Thomas.-Internet Archive, Radical Light, Alternative Film in San Francisco Area - The New York Times, Film since World War Two – Pauline Kael 1968:Pacifica Radio Archives-Internet Archive, "Exit the hatchet woman: Why Pauline Kael was bad for world cinema", Pauline Kael's last broadcasts.-Internet Archive, A Survivor of Film Criticism’s Heroic Age, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE: STANLEY STRANGELOVE – Review by Pauline Kael-Scraps from the Loft, "2 Critics Here Focus on Films As Language Conference Opens", "The Actual Pauline Kael Quote—Not As Bad, and Worse", "Changing the polarized electoral landscape", In Defense of Armond White|Features|Roger Ebert, "Pauletteburo? [6] Gina had a serious illness through much of her childhood;[7] to support her daughter and herself, Kael worked a series of menial jobs such as cook and seamstress, along with stints as an advertising copywriter.[8]. [40], 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. A Couple of Squared Circles, Sarris and Kael – Part II. [60], However, Kael responded negatively to some action films that she felt pushed what she described as "right wing" or "fascist" agendas. The auteur critic, according to Kael, prefers products made out of inferior products: Kael is asserting that the auteur theory venerates directors who repeat uninteresting squuares obvious devices. One of the largest, most distinguished, and innovative of the university presses today, its collection of print and online journals spans topics in the humanities and social sciences, with concentrations in sociology, musicology, history, religion, cultural and area studies, ornithology, law, and literature. [2][3], She left a lasting impression on several prominent film critics. She was not especially cruel to some films that had been deplored by many critics—such as the 1972 Man of La Mancha, in which she praised Sophia Loren's performance. "[16] Although according to legend[8] this review led to her being fired from McCall's (and The New York Times printed as much in Kael's obituary), both Kael and the magazine's editor, Robert Stein, denied this. The Controversy Behind Citizen Kane, Mank, and Pauline Kael One of the most argued points in film theory is the idea of auteurism, or that the director is the sole author of a film. And Sarris, as noted above, began backtracking and tinkering with his original conception almost from the beginning. Many people are not fond of the reductionist qualities of the auteur definition, or any similar theories. It was OK with me that she didn't like the film, and it didn't bother me that she didn't like the point I was making, or even how I was making it. [63] In the early 1980s, however, and largely in response to her review of the 1981 drama Rich and Famous, Kael faced notable accusations of homophobia. [21] According to critic David Thomson, "she was right about a film that had bewildered many other critics.”[14] A few months after the essay ran, Kael quit The New Republic "in despair. Life, as Shoeshine demonstrates, is too complex for facile endings. With her it was all personal. One of the main voices on the side of this argument was US film critic Pauline Kael. The Auteur Theory And The Perils Of Pauline Pauline Kael's article "Circles and Squares," in our last issue, was a blistering attack on the "auteur" school of criticism as it has been seen in the work of Andrew Sarris and such journals as "Movie" and the "New York Film Bulletin." Pauline Kael (/keɪl/; June 19, 1919 – September 3, 2001) was an American film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991. He referred to the “auteur theory,” as if it was something that could be proved. Kael sums up her criticism by wondering why the auteur theory prefers certain commerical films — a saving grace of the auteur theory some will say. Moore claimed that, two weeks later, she wrote a nasty, mean review of my film in The New Yorker. I had never experienced such a brazen, bald-faced barrage of disinformation. Let's get this straight: Sarris, who had spent some time in France and acquainted himself with the Cahiers du Cinema critics (Andre Bazin, Godard, Truffaut, Chabrol, Rivette, Rohmer, et al. Above all it was her personality. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Yet our tears for each other, and for Shoeshine did not bring us together. Kael was known for her "witty, biting, highly opinionated and sharply focused" reviews, her opinions often contrary to those of her contemporaries. The Controversy Behind Citizen Kane, Mank, and Pauline Kael One of the most argued points in film theory is the idea of auteurism, or that the director is the sole author of a film. "[65], In response to her review of Rich and Famous, several critics reappraised Kael's earlier reviews of gay-themed films, including a wisecrack Kael made about the gay-themed The Children's Hour: "I always thought this was why lesbians needed sympathy—that there isn't much they can do. [38] According to Kael, after reading her negative review of Terrence Malick's 1973 film Badlands, Shawn said, "I guess you didn't know that Terry is like a son to me." Critic Pauline Kael led the charge against auteur theory. PAULINE KAEL Circles and Squares In 1957, ... ultimate premise of the auteur theory is concerned with interior meaning, the ultimate glory of the cinema as an art. Kael goes on to add:. I think I have". For if people cannot feel Shoeshine, what can they feel? An article on the lecture in The New York Times included this quote.