Pauline Kael (June 19, 1919 – September 3, 2001) was an American film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991. Earlier in her career, her work appeared in City Lights, McCall's and The New Republic.

Kael was known for her "witty, biting, highly opinionated, and sharply focused" reviews, her opinions often contrary to those of her contemporaries. She is often regarded as the most influential American film critic of her day.

She left a lasting impression on many major critics, including Armond White, whose reviews are similarly non-conformist, and Roger Ebert, who has said that Kael "had a more positive influence on the climate for film in America than any other single person over the last three decades." Owen Gleiberman said she "was more than a great critic. She re-invented the form, and pioneered an entire aesthetic of writing. She was like the Elvis or the Beatles of film criticism."

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Pauline Kael Poems

Pauline Kael Quotes

The first prerogative of an artist in any medium is to make a fool of himself.
Pauline Kael (b. 1919), U.S. film critic. "Is There a Cure for Film Criticism?" I Lost It at the Movies (1965).
The words "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which I saw on an Italian movie poster, are perhaps the briefest statement imaginable of the basic appeal of movies. This appeal is what attracts us, and ultimately what makes us despair when we begin to understand how seldom movies are more than this.
Pauline Kael (b. 1919), U.S. film critic. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, "A Note on the Title," (1968).
It seems likely that many of the young who don't wait for others to call them artists, but simply announce that they are, don't have the patience to make art.
Pauline Kael (b. 1919), U.S. film critic. "Movie Brutalists," Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (1968).

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