- File Size: 310 KB
- Print Length: 28 pages
- Publication Date: November 1, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0062Q7ZC2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,072,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Movie Criticism: The Case of Pauline Kael Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
"There is her famous Pauline Kael review. It is hard to remember what a cultural despot Kael, then the New Yorker's film critic, was when Adler took her down in 1980. Kael was bully, drama queen, suck-up, disciplinarian, hysteric, and - taking jobs and inducements from the people she promoted - a bit corrupt, too. Still, opprobrium yet attaches to Adler for her sweeping emperor's-new-clothes leveling of Kael ... But the rightness of Adler's view of Kael as nasty, self-promoting gasbag only become more obvious as Kael's reputation disappeared after she lost her New Yorker post and power. She was unreadable, said Adler; and indeed, Kael is unread now." - Michael Wolff, Guardian
This is Adlers most famous line and her arguement must be read to appreciate her courage in talking on a fellow New Yorker writer... Not many people would have guts.
Here are some opinions that have been published about this piece.
"In the past few weeks, there have been quite a number of pieces published on the two novels of Renata Adler, which were reissued this week ... Nearly all of them contain a reference to the infamously negative review Adler wrote of her former New Yorker colleague Pauline Kael's book of collected film criticism. Usually the reviewer quotes one particularly damning line from Adler's 8,000-word excoriation ... but really, the whole thing is a masterwork of literary analysis. - Kelsey Osgood, The American Reader
[Adler's] 1980 review, in the New York Review of Books, of When the Lights Go Down, a collection of film reviews by Pauline Kael, is still being written about, albeit for the wrong reason ... In such matters, Adler has taken the high road... and suffered the opprobrium of doing so, at a time when the high road is scarcely visible to many people, in large part because of the problems Adler has written about." Gary Indiana, Book Forum
Since there's not even a hint of what Adler's actually objecting to in this, you have to wonder what set this off. It must have something to do with the incident Adeler refers to in her weirdly defensive third-person introduction ("Adler did *not* leave the meeting in a huff! She walked away politely and with great dignity, while Kael was throwing food at everyone!"). I have no idea what actually happened or what in fact she's talking about, but it still sounds like a lie (as does Adler's claim that she just never noticed how much Kael sucked before).
Anyway, this is only of interest to Kael obsessives. It says something of Adler & Kael's relative reputations that Kael is still remembered as the greatest American film reviewer and Adler is mainly known for, well, attacking Kael. It's kinda pathetic that she has to cling to this as her 15 minutes, hawking a poorly-formatted, self-published digital edition on Amazon 30 years later.