The Age of Movies by Pauline Kael
Selected Writings of Pauline Kael

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Synopsis

"Film criticism is exciting just because there is no formula to apply," Pauline Kael once observed, "just because you must use everything you are and everything you know." Between 1968 and 1991, as regular film reviewer for The New Yorker, Kael used those formidable tools to shape the tastes of a generation, enthralling readers with her gift for capturing, with force and fluency, the essence of an actor's gesture or the full implication of a cinematic image. Kael called movies "the most total and encompassing art form we have," and she made her reviews a platform for considering both film and the worlds it engages, crafting in the process a prose style of extraordinary wit, precision, and improvisatory grace. To read The Age of Movies, the first new selection in more than a generation, is to be swept up into an endlessly revealing and entertaining dialogue with Kael at her witty, exhilarating, and opinionated best. Her ability to evoke the essence of a great artist-an Orson Welles or a Robert Altman-or to celebrate the way even seeming trash could tap deeply into our emotions was matched by her unwavering eye for the scams and self-deceptions of a corrupt movie industry. Here in this career spanning collection are her appraisals of the films that defined an era-among them Breathless, Bonnie and Clyde, The Leopard, The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris, Nashville-along with many others, some awaiting rediscovery, all providing the occasion for masterpieces of observation and insight, alive on every page.
 

About Pauline Kael

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SANFORD SCHWARTZ, editor, writes for The New York Review of Books and is the author of critical biographies of the nineteenth-century Danish painter Christen Købke and the twentieth-century English artist William Nicholson.
 
Published October 27, 2011 by Library of America. 825 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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What’s left here is no less than a highly selective and opinionated history of the movies, in which she skewers art-house trends like Last Year at Marienbad and the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, laments at the wrong career turns taken by geniuses like Orson Welles and Marlon Brando, and revels...

Apr 16 2012 | Read Full Review of The Age of Movies: Selected W...

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