Pauline Kael was the type of film critic whose love of cinema seeped onto the page. Equally one of the most influential and most controversial critics of her time, Kael was the writer who broke away from overtly academic criticism to offer her unrestrained impression of a film.
During her time as a New Yorker film critic from 1968 to 1991, Kael was famously hated by some of the biggest directors in the industry. But you didn't read Kael to agree with her, as few always did; you read Kael to experience a film through her attentive eyes, to grasp the nuances you didn't catch while watching it. "This is a woman who missed nothing," filmmaker Rob Garver told The Huffington Post over email. "Through the force of her personality, she challenged you to look at movies closer, and focus."
Garver, who read Kael in his youth, wrote, directed and produced a new documentary about the iconic critic, "What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael." The film, which is currently on Kickstarter to earn funding for completion, tells Kael's story and features interviews with David O. Russell, Francis Ford Coppola, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Schrader, Robert Towne, Molly Haskell, Alec Baldwin and others reflecting on the film critic's influence.
In an exclusive clip from the doc, Tarantino looks back on a conversation he had with Terry Gilliam about Kael. "Most directors, especially of the older generation, didn't really care that much for critics," the filmmaker says. But Tarantino and those of his generation, including Wes Anderson and David O. Russell, were the ones who were immersed in her writings. "We grew up with her as our kind of film Kerouac, if you will," he said.
Check out the clip and head to Kickstarter to help the documentary reach its goal.
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