Friday, July 16, 2010


My first awareness of Pauline Kael came on the old syndicated Mike Douglas show, around 1975-1976, I'd guess, where she sat on the panel of guests. I was fascinated and intimidated by her in equal measure, of course, though at the time I had no idea she would become such an important figure to me. By the time I started absorbing Reeling and her other collected criticism, her TV appearances became much rarer, at least to these roving eyes. I never met her and have only her books through which to hear her voice, so I'm always glad to get hold of whatever footage I can of this great critic speaking. Many thanks to The Film Dr. for cluing me/us to this four-part City Lights interview with Pauline Kael taped in 1982. It will make a nice weekend of happy viewing for me, and I hope it does for you too.



Jake said...

I love listening to people like Kael, such a brilliant writer but even better when tempering herself just enough to still be fiercely, unapologetically intelligent but also more conversational. This is also why I absolutely adore all the commentary tracks Rosenbaum does for the same reason. You get all the brilliance but a friendlier approach.

Mapeel said...

Wow. Thanks. A treat to listen to Kael at her peak. I happened to be walking through Times Square at night with a Benedictine monk the day she died, and I saw the announcement on the zipper. I was shocked. I started screaming, "Pauline Kael is dead, oh my god," which was somewhat lost on the monk.

And I was equally shocked, prompted by this post, to check what day that was. Sept. 3, 2001 . . .

Anonymous said...

Brian Linehan gave some of his Kael interview tapes to his friends at SCTV to help Andrea Martin play Pauline Kael on that great now classic show. Linehan himself was parodied on SCTV by his old friend,Martin Short. Kael's admiration for Andrea Martin can be seen in her 1986 review of "Club Paradise."Short's version was dubbed Brock Linehan.Short himself was a sometime guest on the real Linehan's show and later a much quoted friend after Linehan's death.

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