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What She Said: The Art Of Pauline Kael

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Arizona

Tagged by Roger Ebert as the most influential film critic of the late twentieth century, this smart, punchy and highly entertaining documentary tells the story of Pauline Kael’s turbulent life and work, through never-before-seen archival footage, her published writing and personal letters, and interviews with both friends and foes of her pen.
Pauline is voiced by Sarah Jessica Parker, and participants include Quentin Tarantino, Camille Paglia, David O. Russell, Molly Haskell, Francis Ford Coppola, and daughter Gina James. Kael (1919-2001) was likely the most powerful, and personal, movie critic of the 20th century. Writing for The New Yorker and publishing a dozen best-selling books, she ruthlessly pursued what made a movie or an actor’s performance work, or not, and why. Her passion made her both admired and despised amongst her readers and her subjects. Pauline’s own story is one of struggle and obsession: the fight to establish her voice and have it heard in a male-dominated profession, and to raise a daughter on her own in a time when the obstacles were high. The latter golden age of movies of the 1960s and 1970s are the focus of this film that pursues the question of what made Pauline Kael’s work so individual, so controversial — and so damned good. (Dir. by Rob Garver, 2019, USA, 95 mins., Not Rated)

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