Hooked

Pauline Kael, Author Dutton Books $24.95 (510p) ISBN 978-0-525-24705-0
This ninth collection of her New Yorker reviews culls classic Kael criticism of more than 150 films released from 1985 to 1988. Refreshingly iconoclastic, Kael isn't afraid to revel in a lowbrow film (`` Little Shop of Horrors is jivey, senseless fun''). She can be accused of playing favorites (Brian De Palma and Bette Midler, for example), but on the whole, Kael's genuine excitement about film sustains the book, and her strong opinions and acute observations offer the film-goer much to ponder. A disquieting note, however, is the insensitive review of the Holocaust documentary Shoah. Writing about a film that considers the extermination of six million Jews, Kael seems disappointed that `` Shoah presents a world in which a Gentile rarely shows any human feeling toward a Jew'' and she dismisses the work as ``a long moan.'' (October)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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