Pauline Kael

Pauline Kael

A Life in the Dark

Book - 2011
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In her nearly quarter-century (1968-1991) reviewing films at The New Yorker, Pauline Kael became the most widely read, the most influential, the most powerful, and, often enough, the most provocative critic in America. Her passionate engagement with the work of a new generation of artists--and her ability to share her enthusiasm with a fresh, vernacular, and confrontational style--changed the face of film criticism. On the tenth anniversary of her death comes the first full-scale biography: author Brian Kellow has interviewed family members, friends, colleagues, and adversaries and written a detailed portrait of this remarkable, often relentlessly driven woman. Kellow examines the controversy Kael generated by overstepping what many considered the boundaries of critical propriety. He follows her successes as well as her battles. For anyone who loves film or is concerned about the role of criticism in the arts, this book is a revelatory biography of one of the most influential women of the past half century--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Viking, c2011
ISBN: 9780670023127
Characteristics: xi, 417 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm


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ChristchurchLib Jun 16, 2014

"For over two decades, from the 1960s to the early 1990s, Pauline Kael handed down the definitive word on Hollywood films through her reviews in The New Yorker. Biographer Brian Kellow relates how Kael developed a love for movies, learned the art of criticism, and eventually achieved the distinction of writing critiques that were both eagerly anticipated by moviegoers and feared by film producers. Sometimes controversial and always incisive, Kael was a masterful writer. Kellow takes advantage of her skill by quoting extensively from her best-known reviews (including those of Bonnie and Clyde, Jaws, and Star Wars) while identifying the major influences and inspirations in her career. Kirkus Reviews says, "this bio is a page-turner."" Biography and Memoir June 2014 newsletter

Mar 07, 2012

Pauline Kael began reviewing film for the New Yorker when I was a teen, and she hugely influenced my understanding and appreciation of film. She truly understood and appreciated the ground-breaking work that was being done in film during the 1970's, especially. This is a very readable and insightful bibliography which I enjoyed very much.


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