State of the Art

Pauline Kael, Author Dutton Books $22.5 (404p) ISBN 978-0-525-24369-4
These essays on ""the state of the art of moviemaking'' are state-of-the-art Kael. She writes: ``In the 1970s, people who met me usually said something on the order of `You're so luckyyou get to go to the movies.' In the 1980s, people are more likely to say `Do you have to sit through that stuff?' They're referring, of course, to the infantilization of movies in the '80s.'' Nevertheless, in this collection of her New Yorker reviews, spanning June 1983 to July 1985, Kael has ``culled some pretty good pictures''Stop Making Sense (``makes wonderful sense''), The Right Stuff (``stirring, enjoyable mess'') and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (a ``flying-carpet movie'')while giving the thumbs down to othersThe Cotton Club (``doesn't give you the pleasures of a plot''), Dune (a ``singularly ambiguous and unappetizing Messiah story'') and Body Double (``stupid yet moderately entertaining''). Kael looks at 117 movies here, and demonstrates throughout why she remains one of our premier film ciritics, often penning pieces more engaging and memorable than the films she examines. Other critics rarely match her ability to capture the spirit and essence of any movie.November
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
Hardcover - 404 pages - 978-0-7145-2869-4
Paperback - 404 pages - 978-0-525-48186-7
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