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Reeling: Film Writings, 1972-1975 (The Film Writings #5)

4.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  142 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Hardcover, 47 pages
Published April 1st 1977 by Little Brown (first published 1976)
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Carol Storm
Dec 03, 2015 Carol Storm rated it it was ok
Pauline Kael can be difficult to read because she's so cynical and superior at times. But at her best she's as funny as Dorothy Parker, and her film reviews can really make you laugh.

I especially like this collection because she reviews some of my all time favorite Seventies films, such as ZARDOZ, THE LAST DETAIL, THE STEPFORD WIVES, LENNY, and BLAZING SADDLES. I don't agree with everything she says, but she always says it memorably, like when she describes the characters in THE LAST DETAIL (a
Seth Kupchick
Feb 13, 2014 Seth Kupchick rated it really liked it
Pauline Kael was a 'new journalist' disguised as a film critic, disguised as a war reporter, and this gives any collection of her criticism an incredible point of view that was completely unique to her at the time, and I think in the history of film criticism, because she became an artist through the back door, in the sneakiest slyest way imaginable because she used movies as a way to write little stories of her going to the movies, though you rarely if ever got personal anecdotes like you do to ...more
Jul 23, 2009 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: criticism
Kael's criticism is essential reading. Erudite but never pretentious, she attacked commercialism, hackwork, and sentimentality with merciless venom. Someone's review complained that she didn't get pulpier fare, but its plain to me that she loved a good bit of shameless entertainment; if you want pulp, you need look no further than the filmography of Brain de Palma, whose films she adored, and the 80's "Flash Gordon" which she also loved. She even delights in the ouevre of Mel Brooks, whose slopp ...more
Apr 01, 2016 Melody rated it really liked it
Not a lot to say about a book like this - it's as the title says a collection of her film reviews from 1972-1975. I've been meaning to read more Pauline Kael (I've read the odd review of hers over the years, mainly back when Microsoft were releasing those Cinemania CD-ROMs in the late 90s) for a long time, and I started with this one because it's one of my favourite periods in cinema. I read it very slowly, I think I started nearly a year ago, because I wanted to take in every word. She's as gre ...more
May 02, 2008 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Pauline Kael was a respected film critic who was most active during the 1960s- 1980s. She's a sassy, opinionated woman, and for the most part her reviews are fun to read. The book that I checked out from the library includes her reviews from 1972-75. In my opinion, a pretty good time for American films especially. I'm into a lot of what Kael says because she expects movies to be thought-provoking, and has a strong aversion to the saccharine. However, she doesn't seem to understand pulpier fare. ...more
Colby Coombs
Feb 27, 2016 Colby Coombs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Pauline Kael was a compelling reason to subscribe to "The New Yorker". Like Dorothy Parker, she would skewer her subjects with exquisite wordage - famously, of Katherine Hepburn's acting, "She ran the gamut of emotions, from A to B".

This is a compendium of her New Yorker reviews from the 70s: fun to read her appraisals/ dissections of films seen long ago.

For dipping-into, rather than a straight read.
Paul Dinger
Jan 28, 2009 Paul Dinger rated it it was amazing
Kael loved movies but hated the business of movie making. Nothing brought out the anger in her vibrant prose as much as money making producers. This is evident thru this as well as many other books she has written. She loved movies with her heart on her sleeve. She could wither like no other with just a little of her pen. She could use sarcasm like a sharp bullet and yet when her praise was won, nothing in life was ever truer. When she hated a film, you could see all the reasons why. She rarely ...more
Jul 09, 2012 Adam rated it it was amazing
Kael is the best film critic I've ever read; I don't always agree with her, but she was unmatched. This may be her best collection - it contains her famous review of "Last Tango in Paris," and her article on "Nashville," the best movie review I've ever read.
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Pauline Kael was an American film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991. She was known for her "witty, biting, highly opinionated, and sharply focused" movie reviews. She approached movies emotionally, with a strongly colloquial writing style. She is often regarded as the most influential American film critic of her day and made a lasting impression on other major critics ...more
More about Pauline Kael...

Other Books in the Series

The Film Writings (10 books)
  • I Lost it at the Movies: Film Writings, 1954-1965
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Film Writings, 1965-1967
  • Going Steady: Film Writings, 1968-1969
  • Deeper Into Movies: Film Writings, 1969-1972
  • When the Lights Go Down: Film Writings, 1975-1980
  • Taking it All In: Film Writings, 1980-1983
  • State of the Art: Film Writings, 1983-1985
  • Hooked: Film Writings 1985-1988
  • Movie Love: Film Writings, 1988-1991

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