Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Pauline Kael

"Ersatz art of a very high grade, and one of the most enjoyable movies ever made.... The scriptwriter-director Joseph L. Mankiewickz's bad taste, exhibited with verve, is more fun than careful, mousy, dehydrated good taste. His nonsense about "theatre" is saved by one performance that is the real thing: Bette Davis is at her most brilliant. Her actress--vain, scared, a woman who goes too far in her reactions and emotions--makes the whole thing come alive (though it's hard to believe Anne Baxter could ever be a threat to Bette Davis)...."

Pauline Kael,
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

When reprinting in 5001 Nights at the Movies, Kael replaced "at her most brilliant" with "at her most intuitive" in the first edition; then later with "at her most instinctive and assured" in the next edition. "Instinct" to Kael is, as I recall, the sum of all that we are born with (?--not sure about that part) and have learned.

Thursday, January 27, 2005