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Culture Maven review: "What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael"

Juno Films

Film review and podcast by c d kaplan

There is no doubt whatsoever that film criticism as we know it these days would not be as big a thing as it is, if not for Pauline Kael.

The divisive, intentionally abrasive, most literate force for the cinema, was the primary film critic at The New Yorker, beginning in the late 60s.

It was her heralding of Arthur Penn’s “Bonnie and Clyde,” which had been shredded by the cognoscenti before her boffo take, that got her the gig at the ‘zine.

For decades thereafter, she held court, turning the critiquing of movies into a craft, which it had not been before.

She could be vicious. She could be laudatory. She could be self aggrandizing. But she was always interesting

Rob Garver’s even handed documentary, “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael” is a fascinating if imperfect look at how what I try to do here started.

For more details, and insight into this documentary available at Amazon Prime, listen to my podcast above.

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Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.