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Reeling Hardcover – 1977


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 497 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown; 1st edition (1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316481793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316481793
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #870,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Peter Shelley on October 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the 5th collection of Pauline Kael's film reviews from the New Yorker magazine covering the period September 1972 to May 1975. In her forward, Kael mentions this time as an opportunity reviewers dream of with the work of "expansionist" directors like Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese, who provide audiences with the "mind-swaying sensation of experiencing several arts - at their highest - combined. We come out reeling". The book covers the end of the Nixon era where titles like Mean Streets, The Godfather Part II, and Nashville have a "new openminded interest in examining American experience, an interest at once skeptical, disenchanted, despairing and lyrical". This book features 2 controversial items - her long prophetic analytical essay that stirred up a storm of contention, On The Future of Movies; and her infamous review of Last Tango in Paris, where she compared the first screening to the night Le Sacre du Printemps was first performed. This latter claim would make Kael's detractors salivate at their perception of her pretention, but it also confirms her passion for her craft. The collection's raves, apart from the previously mentioned Mean Streets, Godfather II, and Nashville, include Sounder, The Heartbreak Kid, Images, The Way We Were, The Long Goodbye, Don't Look Now, Thieves Like Us, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, and Shampoo. Her pans include Sleuth, Lost Horizon, Papillon, The Day of the Dolphin, Mame, Lenny, and Funny Lady. The collection also includes reviews of Arlene Croce's The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Book, Norman Mailer's Marilyn, and her essay After Innocence on the Vietnamisation of American movies.Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Teofilo Colon Jr on December 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Here are the movies Pauline Kael wrote about in her book REELING:

Sounder + The Emigrants,

Chloe In The Afternoon + Bad Company,

Young Winston + Two English Girls,

A Sense Of Loss + Fellini's ROMA,

Last Tango In Paris,

Lady Sings The Blues,

The Discreet Charm of The Bourgeoisie + Play It As It Lays, Savage Messiah,

1776 + The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Book,

Black Girl + Farewell Uncle Tom,

The Heartbreak Kid + The Poseidon Adventure + Child's Play + Traffic,

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man In The Moon Marigolds + Sleuth + Man Of La Mancha + The Getaway + Images,

Up The Sandbox + Pete n Tillie + Jeremiah Johnson,

Cries and Whispers,

Cesar and Rosalie

Travels With My Aunt + The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean,

The First Circle,

Limbo

Lady Caroline Lamb + Trick Baby + Under Milk Wood,

Save the Tiger + Steelyard Blues + If I Had A Gun,

Payday + The Harder They Come,

Ten from Your Show of Shows,

Slither + The Thief Who Came To Dinner,

Lost Horizon + Days and Nights In The Forest,

Ludwig + Two People,

Marilyn -- A Biography By Norman Mailer,

The Last American Hero,

Mean Streets,

The Way We Were + Day For Night + The New Land,

The Long Goodbye,

The Paper Chase + Sisters,

The Iceman Cometh + The Inheritor,

England Made Me + Charley Varrick,

The French Conspiracy + Executive Action,

WestWorld + Triple Echo + The HomeComing + The All-American Boy + Some Call It Loving,

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams

Serpico,
...Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael McCrann on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whether you agree with her or not on any given movie, Pauline Kael was the most fascinating film critic of all time. This collection was one of her best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JKH on February 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great writing on films - even if one finds oneself disagreeing half of the time. I highly recommend to anyone interested in film from this period.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Bono on May 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book as much as a gauge to how much my own views of cinema have evolved, from the days when I would have read it and shouted: "Right-on Pauline.". I still find many things, to which I can agree...but also, as my understanding of the Golden Age of Hollywood's achievement increased, I find myself, surprisingly to myself, much in disagreement too. I found the 70s to be a turning away from the earlier more ideal...though imperfect, and certainly tougher...conception of human nature, in favor of a much reduced....and I would add, much more cynical and troubling view, as unrealistic as any earlier over idealization. Perhaps we need both...the light and the dark, the sweet and sour.. together...as Hitchcock has demonstrated. Though Hitchcock, was decidedly NOT to Kael's liking.

As an illustration...and "taking the bull by the horns", here's a focus upon just one of my disagreements: Kael's discussion of the dance musicals of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, in her review of Arlene Croce's masterful: "The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Book". I first detected contradiction, when Kael, the film critic, accuses Croce, the dance critic, of "swooning romanticism", while simultaneously, praising her precise, crisp descriptions and understandings of the dances.

Kael reacts to Croce's praise of Rogers's dancing...as incapable of the appearance of "clumsiness or toil"...by writing that Rogers, on the contrary, was fully capable of "clumsiness", and as well, could be seen as "working hard". This is absolutely ridiculous. I thought in light of what I knew to be true about Astaire/Rogers, how could anyone think that Fred would accept the appearance of "clumsiness" and "working hard"? Astaire, the perfectionist, would have just required another take.
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