Published in 1965, this is Pauline Kael's first book. It is at once her most uncharacteristic volume of essays and one of her most interesting. Rather than trace recent movie openings on a week-by-week basis, Kael here recalls classics by Ophuls, Renoir, and Bergman and comments on some of the international masterpieces of the early '60s. She also meditates on the state of the art in provocatively titled pieces like "Are Movies Going to Pieces?," "Fantasies of the Art House Audience," and "Is There a Cure for Film Criticism?" Few movie reviewers of any generation can match her wit or intelligence. And almost no one can equal her passion for an art that had such an indelible impact upon her life; Kael's treatment of Vittorio De Sica's masterpiece Shoeshine
is perhaps the most intimate and beautiful movie review ever written.