What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

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USA | 2018 | 95 minutes | Rob Garver

January 3 - 5, 2020

Loved and loathed in equal measure, Pauline Kael remains a polarizing figure in the world of film criticism. Her passion for cinema, punchy prose, and incisive wit are undeniable, but her writing could often fall victim to crass humor and boorish prejudices.

As The New Yorker's resident critic for 25 years, Kael left an indelible influence on American cinematic culture. Yet her own story is one of struggle and obsession: her personal fight, as a woman, to establish her voice and make it heard in a male-dominated industry. She grew up a rancher's daughter in California and came of age in New York City and bohemian Berkeley, both of which shaped the unconventional worldview that would later emerge in her criticism. She famously despised The Sound of Music, which led to her being fired from McCall's magazine, while her review of Bonnie And Clyde transformed it into an instant classic-and then there was her infamous, controversial book-length essay, "Raising Kane," which questioned the authorship of the screenplay for Citizen Kane. Director Rob Garver weaves together Kael's own words contemporary interviews, rare home movies, and scenes from the films she both praised and damned to craft a nuanced, well-balanced portrait, capturing all her glorious charms as well as her infuriating imperfections.

"What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael—note that vital word ‘art'—also shows how the shock waves from Kael's brilliant, sometimes immoderate or contrarian opinions, could fuel a whole culture of informed and often polemical debate."—Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

  • Director: Rob Garver
  • Principal Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Quentin Tarantino, Camille Paglia, Molly Haskell, David O. Russell, Alec Baldwin, Paul Schrader
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 95 minutes
  • Producer: Rob Garver, Glen Zipper
  • Screenplay: Rob Garver
  • Cinematographers: Vincent C. Ellis
  • Editors: Rob Garver
  • Music: Rick Baitz
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Language: English