From a Single Mother to a Powerful Film Critic – Pauline Kael’s Extraordinary Life

  • 1darticlPauline


    Review of her biography

  • June 19, 1919 – birthday of Pauline Kael
    she was a single mother, her daughter named Gia became her secretary (a bit like Gray Gardens). Poet/filmmaker James Broughton was her father. We learned from Kael that Henri Pierre Roche (writer of Jules et Jim) introduced Gertrude Stein to Picasso.. she nurtured Paul Schrader.. and other young critics.. they became Paulettes. She championed Altman, Arthur Penn..she overpraised Brian de Palma.. Her review on Kon Ichikawa’s Makioka Sisters was superb.. this blogger loves her essay on Cary Grant. She picked fights with Andrew Sarris.

    She preferred…
    John Huston (proficient and gifted ) over Nicholas Ray (erratic) (page 78)
    Carol Reed over Hitchcock
    She published her review of Nashville before the film was released..
    “Pauline Kael approached her subjects predatorily: she called Clint Eastwood a “tall, cold cod” and a “fascist””

    The Man from the Dream City (Pauline K. on Cary Grant)

  • “It seems likely that many of the young who don’t wait for others to call them artists, but simply announce that they are, don’t have the patience to make art.” Pauline K.

  • Jacques Perrin and 1dkael Pauline Kael
    (1977 at Cannes)

  • Pauline Kael reviews

    Pauline Kael Five Classics – interesting collection here.

    New Yorker piece (The Group episode)

    Pauline Kael and 1duncanKael Robert Duncan

    Pauline Kael – Robert Duncan Selected Letters

    Pauline Kael and Robert Duncan met in the 1930s as students at the University of California-Berkeley. After both dropped out, they maintained a six year correspondence recording the trials, excitements, and discoveries of life after Berkeley. The Selected Letters, 1945-46 captures their singular friendship and the mutual interests and sensibilities that united them. Highlights include a dialogue on reading Herman Melville’s Pierre; reflections by Duncan on farm-life in Northern California; notes on his preparation of his manuscript The Years as Catches and Kael’s work on a play; and from New York, Kael’s reportage on art-shows, films, music, and discussion meetings tied to Dwight Macdonald’s journal Politics.

  • Frank Rich on Pauline Kael Kael loved Jean Renoir and Satyjit Ray.. her role models are James Agee and Marny Farber.

    Kis Kiss Bang Bang..(page 114 -115)
    Louise Brooks has been an admirer of Pauline Kael.. they’ve been corresponding.

    Pauline prized Edna O’Brien (the story of Adele – mad romantic pursuit page 231).
    Review of her bio NYtimes .Iron Lady.

    It recalls the critic who championed sensuous, exciting movies and eviscerated ponderous or pretentious ones

  • Two links from Roger Ebert on Pauline Kael

    She was the most powerful, loved and hated film critic of her time, but her work cannot be discussed objectively by simply reading it. She challenges you on every page, she’s always in your face, and she functioned as the arbiter of any social group she joined. She was quite a dame.
    She might have liked that- “quite a dame.” She wrote with slangy, jazzy prose, always pepped up, spinning on the edge of a whirlpool.

    Pauline Kael on art and trash, life and lice

    Moreau and Ebert (happy days)

    June 18 Ebert’s birthday .. (previous post – the Last picture show)