Pauline Kael

Pauline Kael

A Life in the Dark

Book - 2011
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Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

The first biography of The New Yorker's influential, powerful, and controversial film critic.

A decade after her death, Pauline Kael remains the most important figure in film criticism today, in part due to her own inimitable style and power within the film community and in part due to the enormous influence she has exerted over an entire subsequent generation of film critics. During her tenure at the New Yorker from 1967 to 1991 she was a tastemaker, a career maker, and a career breaker. Her brash, vernacular writing style often made for an odd fit at the stately New Yorker .

Brian Kellow gives us a richly detailed look at one of the most astonishing bursts of creativity in film history and a rounded portrait of this remarkable (and often relentlessly driven) woman. Pauline Kael is a book that will be welcomed by the same audience that made Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution and Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls bestsellers, and by anyone who is curious about the power of criticism in the arts.

Publisher: New York : Viking, c2011
ISBN: 9780670023127
Branch Call Number: 921 KAE
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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