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Movie Criticism: The Case of Pauline Kael by [Adler, Renata]
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Movie Criticism: The Case of Pauline Kael Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 28 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • 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
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,072,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
What genuine critics wrote, in Editorial Reviews, about Adler's important piece:

"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
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This is a very strange pamphlet. Adler seems to be attacking Kael for two main sins: 1) she has a writing style; and 2) she has opinions. Adler devotes many pages to pointing out similar phrases or techniques Kael uses throughout her reviews, as if she's plagiarizing herself. She never really says what's *wrong* with Kael's style, other than it repeats itself--and what writer is that *not* true for? Kael also likes the wrong kind of movies, according to Adler, without much more elaboration on that, either. It's about as informative a review as "Nyah, nyah".

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.
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Too much of a screed. Adler is a terrific writer, but you wouldn't know it here.
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Renata Adler hated her job as a movie critic, so why would I like her book? I can't recommend it.
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