Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark

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Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark
James Toback,

A decade after her death, Pauline Kael remains a pivotal figure in American film criticism, thanks to her inimitable style, the sharpness of her observations, and the influence she exerted over subsequent generations of writers. On the occasion of two new books—Brian Kellow’s biography Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark and the Library of America anthology The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael—a panel of noted critics and filmmakers will discuss Kael’s life, work and legacy. The discussion will be followed by a screening of James Toback’s Fingers (1978, 90m), of which Kael wrote: “In Fingers, the first film he has directed, James Toback is trying to be Orson Welles and Carol Reed, Dostoevsky, Conrad, and Kafka…Insanity, violent bouts of sex, Jacobean revenge killings—nothing is too much for Toback in his exhilarated state…Yet the film never seems ridiculous, because he’s got true moviemaking fever.”

Confirmed panelists: David Edelstein (Film Critic, New York magazine), Brian Kellow, Geoffrey O’Brien (Editor in Chief, Library of America), James Toback (film director), Camille Paglia (University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies, University of the Arts), Todd McCarthy (Chief Film Critic, The Hollywood Reporter).

Venue: New York Film Festival

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