Elizabeth K.'s Reviews > I Lost it at the Movies: Film Writings, 1954-1965

I Lost it at the Movies by Pauline Kael
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's review
Jul 31, 09

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2008-new-reads
Read in June, 2008

the late, great Pauline Kael. This is a collection of her early, pre-New Yorker, writings about film. I have always been a Pauline Kael fan. I love the way she writes about movies -- even when I don't agree with her, or have no idea what she's talking about, it makes me excited about film and I find myself wanting to watch Last Year at Marienbad again (which normally is the kind of idea that should make you say OH FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, NO.) just to see particular things she is talking about. All of that said, in many ways the woman was a raving lunatic, and that also comes through. I'm torn over whether or not to include some specific examples of her kookiness, mostly involving homosexuality but some real gems on race as well, because I worry that the fun of pointing and laughing at the crazy lady (and to be fair, some of it no doubt seemed less demented in the late 1950s/early 1960s) would overshadow her truly perceptive exploration of the movies and American culture.

Grade: A-
Recommended: For the film geekery set, although I will note that despite her protestations, her focus is on movies that we would now categorize as artsy or academic films with some notable exceptions. This is probably not a bad choice if you feel nostalgic about your Intro to Film History classes in college.
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