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State of the Art Hardcover – November 27, 1985


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; 1st edition (November 27, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525243690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525243694
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,548,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

These essays on "the state of the art of moviemaking" are state-of-the-art Kael. She writes: "In the 1970s, people who met me usually said something on the order of 'You're so luckyyou get to go to the movies.' In the 1980s, people are more likely to say 'Do you have to sit through that stuff?' They're referring, of course, to the infantilization of movies in the '80s." Nevertheless, in this collection of her New Yorker reviews, spanning June 1983 to July 1985, Kael has "culled some pretty good pictures"Stop Making Sense ("makes wonderful sense"), The Right Stuff ("stirring, enjoyable mess") and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (a "flying-carpet movie")while giving the thumbs down to othersThe Cotton Club ("doesn't give you the pleasures of a plot"), Dune (a "singularly ambiguous and unappetizing Messiah story") and Body Double ("stupid yet moderately entertaining"). Kael looks at 117 movies here, and demonstrates throughout why she remains one of our premier film ciritics, often penning pieces more engaging and memorable than the films she examines. Other critics rarely match her ability to capture the spirit and essence of any movie.November
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Since the giddy declaration of a Hollywood renaissance in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (1968), collections of Kael's New Yorker reviews have served to measure the shifting quality of the movies. The consciously clinical title of this, her eighth collection, signals how mechanical and slipshod she has found so many of the movies released since 1983 to be. While there are some performances, images, and even whole movies for her to celebrate, Kael charts a negative course through a string of popular releases. Flashdance, The Big Chill, Terms of Endearment, Ghostbusters, Country, Beverly Hills Cop, Desperately Seeking Susan , etc., are dismissed as hollow, inept, or crassly calculated. While Kael hints that the younger audiences filmmakers court may partly be the problem, her book lacks the longer think pieces of earlier collections in which she reflected on the reasons for such difficulties. Marshall Deutelbaum, English Dept., Purdue Univ., W. Lafayette, Ind.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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