What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael


Biography / Documentary

IMDb Rating 6.8 10 492

Please enable your VPN when downloading torrents

Get Free VPN


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 05, 2021 at 09:09 AM



Ridley Scott as Self
Woody Allen as Self
Sarah Jessica Parker as Pauline Kael
Alec Baldwin as Self
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
904.51 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S 7 / 32
1.64 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S 8 / 35

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by barevfilm 10 / 10

Love her or hate her her influence was not to be denied. An XLNT film.

"What she said: The Art of Pauline Kael" A portrait of the work of controversial film critic Pauline Kael and her influence on the male-dominated worlds of cinema and film criticism. Loved or hated her influence was undeniable. Image.jpeg Viewed at the 69th Berlin Film Festival 2019. "What She Said --The Art of Pauline Kael", solemnly, compiled and fully packed with testimonials from a steady stream of prominent film personalities, directors, writers, publishers, other film critics, etcetera, by an obvious admirer, New York based Rob Garver, his first feature length film. Among those seen in the film besides Kael herself at various points in her life are: directors Quentin Tarantino, Paul Schrader, Woody Allen, John Boorman, Peter Bogdanovich, and David Lean (Who was so crushed by her panning of his films that he retired from directing for several years!) actor Alec Baldwin, and half a dozen female film critics all commenting on how Kael influenced them one way or another. At one point Allen says that even though Pauline trashed some of his movies he valued her comments and insights and considered her to be the best critic around. Comedian director Jerry Lewis chimes in with: "She's never said a good thing about me yet. That dirty old broad. But she's probably the most qualified critic in the world"

We see flashes of innumerable clips from films she commented on, both positively and negatively, included Citizen Kane, Last Tango in Paris, Bonnie and Clyde, Easy Rider, films of Joan Crawford, and many others. Throughout excerpts from her articles published in the New Yorker and elsewhere are read aloud over shots of the original articles while, most enlightening of all are numerous scenes of Kael herself discussing her views on film criticism and the reactions to her writing. As her notoriety mounted she was released from several other upscale magazines before settling in as the long term resident film critic of the staidly liberal New Yorker where she spent the bulk of her late career. Having become a celebrity in her own right she was a frequent guest on the top TV talk shows, Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett. The Cavett clips are particularly interesting but are cut off just a wee bit too short. We wanna see more of that! Her staunch opinionation earned her at least as much venomous hate mail as ecstatic fan mail, maybe more. But she was so sure of the correctness of her calls that the hate mail to her was like water off a duck's back. (i respect your right to disagree but I'm right and you're wrong). There is so much information, visual and verbal, in the relatively short 98 minutes running time that what we get is virtually a mini history of cinema as seen through the sharpest of eyes with the liveliest of words. Crucially, many people say that even if you had seen a film under discussion Kael's review forced you see it again as if you were seeing it for the first time. This critical study of America's most famous film critic goes back to her earliest days writing program notes for the art films shown at the hole in the wall movie house known as the Cinema Guild on the edge of the Berkeley campus in the late nineteen fifties. As a UCB student back then I began to see old Hollywood movies in a new light and developed a strong taste for foreign films from the insights expressed in her compact summaries. Above all It was Pauline's wit that hooked us all. Like it or not, Pauline Kael with her often acid laden but undeniably well argued views grounded in an encyclopedic knowledge of film history and an astounding memory for details of films seen years earlier, was the most influential film critic of the latter half of the XX. Century. She published 13 books of reviews some of which like "I Lost it at the Movies" became best sellers and conditioned the film views of an entire generation at a time when movies had suddenly become intellectual property, not mere weekend entertainment. This is the kind of film one wishes would have run twice as long because so much interesting material must have been trimmed in the final cut, and the personality of the woman on which it focuses is so utterly fascinating. I myself often disagreed 180° with Kael's opinions regarding certain films, for example, Bertolucci's "Last Tango in Paris", which she praised to High Heaven while I thought it was pure unadulterated garbage -- but I used to read her reviews regularly anyhow, for their verbal agility and pure unadulterated obstreperousness. This film was possibly the hottest ticket of the entire Berlin festival week and I had to purchase a general admission ticket to to make sure I woukdn't miss it. Tickets i had for two other screenings on the final day of the fest were not used because this was the perfect capston to the festival, and the rich taste it leaves behind was not to be further diluted! I personally had numerous differences of opinion with Ms. Kael but always enjoyed her wit and wisdom even when I disagreed. Overall, an Xlnt biodoc.

Reviewed by conannz 6 / 10

A highly compressed view of a life lived at pace

Saw this today at a film festival in Auckland. It felt rushed and over stuffed full of trivia. Almost like the makers wanted coverage and balance :) I would have preferred a little more focus on some of the pivotal moments and we did get some of that.

Clips of Kael being interviewed were some of the best parts and there were also some notable responses by film makers, critics and others.

I suspect the clips from movies that were used were all very short because of licensing constraints but it would have been better to label the less obvious ones.

I didn't know the story about Mankiewicz and Citizen Kane. That seemed like one of the great moments and could have been teased out a little more.

We heard from her daughter and possibly grand daughter? I think the story about the collaboration with Warren Beatty was worth a deeper look but perhaps there were some legal fish hooks there.

The David Lean clips where he mentions he was devastated by a particular event where she took hime to task was interesting. Again I wonder if there was more to add there.

On the whole though I came out of the theatre reminded of the many times Kael had made a call on a movie and had by doing so added a little edge to the movie going experience.

I have enjoyed her writing and will look up some of those essays and reviews now.

Reviewed by take2docs 8 / 10


As one who has always preferred reading an opinionated and retrospective -- as opposed to a generic and preview-like -- movie review, I can appreciate Ms. Kael's approach to film criticism. There are those who feel a reviewer ought to keep their personality out of the picture, but what are movies but shared dreams in a sense and, in the end, ultimately subjective experiences? Roger Ebert was my favorite film critic, for the primary reason that he wrote more in the spirit of an intimist than as an emotionally detached summarist.

Although the celebrated Ms. Kael was before my time, I have perused "5001 Nights At The Movies," not so as to read any plot descriptions, but as a literary pastime. Which is to say, Ms. Kael was more of a writer than she was a movie reviewer. And to think that had she taken up, say, investigative journalism instead (an arguably more worthwhile pursuit), that she just may have been even more of an influential writer than she was.

WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL is a good enough portrait of the late doyenne of film criticism. I most enjoyed hearing from the subject herself, as well as from her daughter, Gina James.

I suppose there isn't much else worth noting about Kael the person other than what is mentioned in this.

Professionally, Pauline Kael was well-known for often being textually sardonic, yet what I noticed is that she seemed like an average everywoman in interviews, as if the shtick was limited to the page. We learn on the one hand how she was supposedly not uppity when it came to her choice in movies, apparently embracing many a big grosser and even some camp, yet on the other preferred specific auteurs of the artsy French New Wave and would sometimes alienate readers whenever she would pan a well-liked and mainstream production (as with "The Sound Of Music").

The most astonishing revelation for me is when the daughter informs us of how her mother never knew how to type. Insert interrobang. (This would be the equivalent of a gourmet chef who can't dice.) That her job as a film critic did not earn her a livable wage I also found to be quite surprising -- and a little contradictory, considering the sprawling country home we see her having inhabited. Then there was the part about her occasionally trying to persuade other film critics to join her in giving a movie a favorable review, with some of these even admitting to their fondness for being a part of such a claque. I found this to be quite uncool, if not intellectually shameful.

This woman lived what for many would be a dream life. Ms. Kael, herself, talks about how wonderful it is/was to be a paid film critic. Ya think? Here was someone who rose from obscurity to celebrity by simply commenting upon flicks, by prolifically reflecting upon a medium of mere make-believe. An argument could also be made that Ms. Kael took movies, what with all the (essayistic) ink she spilled over them, far too seriously -- and, at times, to an almost pretentious extent. Here was a lady who had screened thousands of motion-pictures in her lifetime, yet who probably never once questioned why hundreds of them are churned out year after year, from a vantage point outside of the cinematic microcosm.

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment