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Nonetheless, she was controversial for her opinions and practices. Kael often claimed that she went by her first impressions of films, that she made it a point to never revisit or see a film twice, and she often criticized and attacked those who wanted to take film studies into a more academic perspective. Her opponents noted that this was tantamount to claiming that she could never be wrong nor cop to making errors in judgment. She saw herself as a populist who appreciated films for its surface level visceral impact and felt that rigorously looking at films would take cinema away from its popular roots. Andrew Sarris who wrote for the Village Voice and other niche publications such as Film Comment and the American popularizer of UsefulNotes/TheAuteurTheory came to her particular scorn, leading to the famous Kael-Sarris feud in film circles. She also compromised her reputation with her essay "Raising Kane" which argued that Creator/OrsonWelles wasn't the main creator of ''Film/CitizenKane''. This attack was widely read and professionally damaging to Welles, and despite being debunked by Welles' friends and independent researchers, its central claim and accusation remains widely reprinted. Welles even considered suing her but ultimately decided that it upset his 24/7 job of hustling for his unmade films and the [[SlaveToPR optics of suing a critic didn't agree with the man who trod on Hearst's toes]]. Kael also became controversial or notorious when one of her off-the-cuff remarks at a lecture for the MLA -- "I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for [[UsefulNotes/RichardNixon Nixon]]. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them" -- became a meme often misquoted as "I don't know anyone who voted for Nixon" (which is not true she said specifically she knew ''one'') by conservative circles as an example of the Manhattanhite liberal's [[BigApplesauce famous provincialism]] and the bubble in which they lived. Some of her reviews are often noted for making homophobic remarks even if most of her friends noted that she wasn't a homophobe in her life and merely insensitive about a group of people who were still largely underground when she started out.

Kael retired from active reviewing in 1991 and retired. She admitted feeling miffed at the UsefulNotes/TheBlockbusterAgeOfHollywood in interviews in her retirement and felt that she was glad to have written in a moment when movies mattered and were fiercely discussed among audiences. Despite the passing of time, Kael still remains a very influential critic, with her opinions and style of writing inspiring a number of voices in different eras and in TheNewTens the likes of Creator/LindsayEllis, Creator/BobChipman, and [[WebVideo/BrowsHeldHigh Kyle Kallgren]].

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Nonetheless, she was controversial for her opinions and practices. Kael often claimed that she went by her first impressions of films, that she made it a point to never revisit or see a film twice, and she often criticized and attacked those who wanted to take film studies into a more academic perspective. Her opponents noted that this was tantamount to claiming that she could never be wrong nor cop to making errors in judgment. She saw herself as a populist who appreciated films for its surface level their surface-level visceral impact and felt that rigorously looking at films would take cinema away from its popular roots. Andrew Sarris Sarris, who wrote for the ''The Village Voice Voice'' and other niche publications such as Film Comment ''Film Comment'' and the American popularizer of popularized UsefulNotes/TheAuteurTheory in the United States, came to her particular scorn, leading to the and their feud became famous Kael-Sarris feud in film circles. She also compromised her reputation with her essay "Raising Kane" Kane", which argued that Creator/OrsonWelles wasn't screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, and not Creator/OrsonWelles, was the main creator of ''Film/CitizenKane''. This attack was widely read and professionally damaging to Welles, and despite being debunked by Welles' friends and independent researchers, its central claim and accusation remains widely reprinted. Welles even considered suing her her, but ultimately decided that it upset his 24/7 job of hustling for his unmade films and the [[SlaveToPR optics of suing a critic didn't agree with the man who trod on Hearst's toes]]. Kael also became controversial or notorious when thanks to one of her off-the-cuff remarks at a lecture for the MLA -- MLA. There, she said "I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for [[UsefulNotes/RichardNixon Nixon]]. Where they are are, I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes sometimes, when I'm in a theater theater, I can feel them" -- them." This became a meme often misquoted as "I don't know anyone who voted for Nixon" (which is not true she said specifically she knew ''one'') by conservative circles conservatives as an example of the Manhattanhite Manhattanite liberal's [[BigApplesauce famous provincialism]] and [[PopCultureIsolation the cultural bubble in which they lived. the "liberal elite" lived]]. (If anything, it was her recognizing and commenting on her own provincialism.) Some of her reviews are often noted for making homophobic remarks even if most of her friends noted that she wasn't a homophobe in her life and merely insensitive about a group of people who were still largely underground when she started out.

Kael retired from active reviewing in 1991 and retired. She admitted feeling miffed at the UsefulNotes/TheBlockbusterAgeOfHollywood in interviews in her retirement retirement, and felt that she was glad to have written in a moment when movies mattered and were fiercely discussed among audiences. Despite the passing of time, Kael still remains a very influential critic, with her opinions and style of writing inspiring a number of voices in different eras and in TheNewTens to this day, including the likes of Creator/LindsayEllis, Creator/BobChipman, and [[WebVideo/BrowsHeldHigh Kyle Kallgren]].


[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pauline_kael.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Kael in 1977]]

->"Object to the Hollywood film and you’re an intellectual snob, object to the avant-garde films and you’re a Philistine. But, while in Hollywood, one must often be a snob; in avant-garde circles one must often be a Philistine."

Pauline Kael (1919-2001) is one of the most famous and influential film critics of the twentieth century. She wrote film reviews of essay length for Magazine/TheNewYorker between 1968-1991 after which she retired. Her collected film reviews were anthologized and are still widely printed and reviewed.

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[[quoteright:350:https://static.[[quoteright:300:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pauline_kael.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Kael [[caption-width-right:300:Kael in 1977]]

->"Object ->''"Object to the Hollywood film and you’re an intellectual snob, object to the avant-garde films and you’re you're a Philistine. But, while in Hollywood, one must often be a snob; in avant-garde circles one must often be a Philistine."

"''

Pauline Kael (1919-2001) (June 19, 1919 – September 3, 2001) is one of the most famous and influential film critics of the twentieth century. She wrote film reviews of essay length for Magazine/TheNewYorker ''Magazine/TheNewYorker'' between 1968-1991 after which she retired. Her collected film reviews were anthologized and are still widely printed and reviewed.


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[[caption-width-right:350:some caption text]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Kael in 1977]]

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[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pauline_kael.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:some caption text]]

->"Object to the Hollywood film and you’re an intellectual snob, object to the avant-garde films and you’re a Philistine. But, while in Hollywood, one must often be a snob; in avant-garde circles one must often be a Philistine."

Pauline Kael (1919-2001) is one of the most famous and influential film critics of the twentieth century. She wrote film reviews of essay length for Magazine/TheNewYorker between 1968-1991 after which she retired. Her collected film reviews were anthologized and are still widely printed and reviewed.

Kael grew up in California, in Petaluma, before moving to San Francisco and studying at Berkeley. Her upbringing and youth was bohemian by her own admission. Her first gig as a critic was a review of Creator/CharlieChaplin's ''Film/{{Limelight}}'' which she disliked and slammed with the title "Slimelight" a harbinger of her forthright, honest, and pull-no-punches style and her tendency to be unimpressed or intimidated by reputation. Kael's tendency for independence, her insistence on her own subjective viewpoints and a tendency to go against contemporary trends led to her getting fired from [=McCall's=] after she panned a series of popular films and EpicMovie blockbusters including ''Film/TheSoundOfMusic'' (her review spread the meme about it being "The Sound of Money"). She recovered however when she wrote a lengthy essay on ''Film/BonnieAndClyde'' a polarizing film whose originality and freshness she recognized. Her review was rejected by the New Republic but Walliam Shawn, legendary editor of New Yorker decided to print it, and Kael started working there.

As a critic, Kael's reviews are known for being first hand accounts of the UsefulNotes/NewHollywood era and the cultural and social watershed that it was. While even her admirers would qualify about her influence and impact on audience reception and influence on the sales of films she positively reviewed, it's generally agreed that she expressed what people liked about the films of this era better than any other critic and she had a keen eye on the cultural zeitgeist and what's called lightning-in-the-bottle. She conveyed exactly why the modernized sex and violence in the New Hollywood films were so attractive and appealing to an audience mired in the staid world of the late Golden Age. Likewise, by mentoring the likes of Creator/PaulSchrader, she inspired his turn as critic, screenwriter and director, leading to films like ''Film/TaxiDriver'' and Schrader while admitting that his taste was different (he was more into avant-garde and foreign films than she was), does admit that she was a major influence on his life. Creator/RobertAltman whose controversial films were championed by her also enjoyed her friendship even if she didn't always like his films. Creator/RogerEbert also admitted that Kael was an inspiration for his reviews. On a personal level, everyone admitted that she was quite warm and friendly and often contrary to the impression that her [[CausticCritic persona in print]] conveyed.

Nonetheless, she was controversial for her opinions and practices. Kael often claimed that she went by her first impressions of films, that she made it a point to never revisit or see a film twice, and she often criticized and attacked those who wanted to take film studies into a more academic perspective. Her opponents noted that this was tantamount to claiming that she could never be wrong nor cop to making errors in judgment. She saw herself as a populist who appreciated films for its surface level visceral impact and felt that rigorously looking at films would take cinema away from its popular roots. Andrew Sarris who wrote for the Village Voice and other niche publications such as Film Comment and the American popularizer of UsefulNotes/TheAuteurTheory came to her particular scorn, leading to the famous Kael-Sarris feud in film circles. She also compromised her reputation with her essay "Raising Kane" which argued that Creator/OrsonWelles wasn't the main creator of ''Film/CitizenKane''. This attack was widely read and professionally damaging to Welles, and despite being debunked by Welles' friends and independent researchers, its central claim and accusation remains widely reprinted. Welles even considered suing her but ultimately decided that it upset his 24/7 job of hustling for his unmade films and the [[SlaveToPR optics of suing a critic didn't agree with the man who trod on Hearst's toes]]. Kael also became controversial or notorious when one of her off-the-cuff remarks at a lecture for the MLA -- "I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for [[UsefulNotes/RichardNixon Nixon]]. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them" -- became a meme often misquoted as "I don't know anyone who voted for Nixon" (which is not true she said specifically she knew ''one'') by conservative circles as an example of the Manhattanhite liberal's [[BigApplesauce famous provincialism]] and the bubble in which they lived. Some of her reviews are often noted for making homophobic remarks even if most of her friends noted that she wasn't a homophobe in her life and merely insensitive about a group of people who were still largely underground when she started out.

Kael retired from active reviewing in 1991 and retired. She admitted feeling miffed at the UsefulNotes/TheBlockbusterAgeOfHollywood in interviews in her retirement and felt that she was glad to have written in a moment when movies mattered and were fiercely discussed among audiences. Despite the passing of time, Kael still remains a very influential critic, with her opinions and style of writing inspiring a number of voices in different eras and in TheNewTens the likes of Creator/LindsayEllis, Creator/BobChipman, and [[WebVideo/BrowsHeldHigh Kyle Kallgren]].

!! Books

* I Lost It at the Movies (1965)
* Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (1968)
* Going Steady (1969)
* The Citizen Kane Book (1971)
* Deeper into Movies (1973)
* Reeling (1976)
* When the Lights Go Down (1980)
* 5001 Nights at the Movies (1982, revised in 1984 and 1991)
* For Keeps (1994)

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