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5001 Nights at the Movies (Holt Paperback) Paperback – May 15, 1991
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This series of capsule movie reviews by the great Pauline Kael is actually an anthology of her writings for the "Goings on About Town" section of the New Yorker magazine. In 5001 Nights, Kael digs into the heart of each movie she considers with extraordinary penetration and exuberance. And while every movie you know may not appear here, each of Kael's reviews is detailed enough to provide tremendous insight into the movies that are covered. This book is as much fun to browse as it is to read through. Whether you've run the rounds at your local video store, Kael will lead you to treasures you may not know are out there.
“She is, indeed, the Edmund Wilson of film reviewers.” ―Larry McMurtry
“She's the best film critic we've got.” ―Details
“A great critic…with a body of criticism that can be compared with Shaw's criticism of music and the theatre.” ―The Times Literary Supplement (London)
“Kael changed the way we see. Poets aren't the only unacknowledged legislators of the world; great critics write the text as well.” ―San Francisco Examiner
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The same can be said for Kael. Both reviewers are very intelligent and see movies through their own viewing lens. We all have no choice but to see everything from our own point of view. The good news is, Kael keeps her consistent point of view, writes sharply and with some humor and is quite intelligent. As a result, one can learn about films by reading her reviews. The best way to approach this book, least for me, was to immediately read her reviews of films I have seen. Then I got a good idea of her perspective. Where she was coming from became more evident.
I am delighted I purchased this book on amazon.com, the best book store around (besides Powell's in Portland but, it's in Portland, though, of course, they do have a website but it ain't the same as seeing all their books in their massive store). Ironically, it's the reviews on amazon.com that really help a person make more informed decisions about books you can't actually thumb through.
I don't completely agree with Kael on her evaluations of every film. That's because everyone has their own fingerprint for their distinct tastes in movies, music and art. We are each formed by our upbringing and our experiences and our personal taste. What matters is when a person can efficiently convey an intelligent idea of a film to us with an honest perspective that remains true to her own point of view over the decades. Kael has accomplished this.
I look forward to many more opportunities to dive into this thick book to explore the world of film from the late 1920's to the late 1980's. email@example.com