Pauline Kael Wants People to Go to the Movies

By George Malko Audience January/February 1972 If fate ever condemns you to suffer through a really bad movie, pray that some quirk of same puts you in a seat next to Pauline Kael. She cannot make what is happening up there on the screen go away, but she can jolt you...

Rex Reed Doesn’t Speak to Anyone

By Helen Dudar Esquire January, 1976 Before she became Pauline Kael, before she was much more than a wonderful surprise occasionally encountered in obscure journals, before she was canonized as America’s best critic of film, Pauline Kael took an ax to the work of...

The Lady in the Dark

By Phillip Lopate New York Woman November 1989 Pauline Kael has just turned seventy. An important birthday; her house in the Berkshires is filled with flowers from well-wishers. “I don’t want you to get the wrong idea that there are always this many flowers around,”...

Hope and Glory

By Pauline Kael The New Yorker October 5, 1987 It’s hard to believe that a great comedy could be made of the blitz, but John Boorman has done it. In his new, autobiographical film, Hope and Glory, he has had the inspiration to desentimentalize wartime England and show...

Noodles

By Pauline Kael The New Yorker June 1, 1987 The title Tampopo, which is Japanese for “dandelion,” is the name of a fortyish widow (Nobuko Miyamoto) who is trying to make a go of the run-down noodle shop on the outskirts of Tokyo that her late husband operated. The...

Stop Making Sense

By Pauline Kael The New Yorker November 26, 1984 Stop Making Sense makes wonderful sense. A concert film by the New York new-wave rock band Talking Heads, it was shot during three performances at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in December, 1983, and the footage has...

Something Wild

By Pauline Kael The New Yorker November 17, 1986 For seven decades of romantic screwball comedies, sexy, smart, funny women have been waking up heroes who, through fear or shyness or a stuffy educational background, were denying their deepest impulses. The women...

The Untouchables

By Pauline Kael The New Yorker June 29, 1987 Chicago circa 1930—AI Capone’s capital of crime—looks so much better than New York City looks right now that local audiences for The Untouchables may feel somewhat chagrined. Chicago still has solid traces of Louis Sullivan...

Tequila Sunrise

By Pauline Kael The New Yorker December 26, 1988 Michelle Pfeiffer tells Mel Gibson how sorry she is that she hurt his feelings. He replies, “C’mon, it didn’t hurt that bad,” pauses, and adds, “Just lookin’ at you hurts more.” If a moviegoer didn’t already know that...

Al Pacino: Out of the Shadows

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair October 1989 “I think maybe I’ve leaned too much on the clandestine thing,” Al Pacino concedes, a bit ruefully. “It was a phase I was going through.” It’s a phase he’s not entirely out of yet, at least stylistically. Tonight, for instance,...

Jonathan Demme’s Offbeat America

By James Kaplan The New York Times Magazine March 27, 1988 In a dim room high above the controlled chaos of Times Square, Jonathan Demme is watching a movie. To be more precise, the director is looking over the shoulder of his film editor, Craig McKay, at an editing...

Is Randy Newman a Redneck Cole Porter—Or Just Strange?

By Grover Lewis Playboy September, 1983 Randy Newman is chary of interviewers by reflex, bless his level sense, but bent even more unbendingly in that direction since the critical shitstorm mounted in the pop-squeak press against his fifth album of art songs, Good Old...