Not Pauline Kael

Not Pauline Kael

Favorite films

  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • The Fury
  • Something Wild
  • Weekend

Recent activity

  • The Great Waldo Pepper

  • Big Business

  • Bull Durham

  • Big

Recent reviews

  • The Great Waldo Pepper

    The Great Waldo Pepper

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    “The Rear Guard”

    Consumers today are being sold sweaters labeled “100% Virgin Acrylic,” and George Roy Hill makes movies that are 100% pure plastic. THE GREAT WALDO PEPPER doesn't mar, and wipes clean with a damp cloth. It’s a new version of the gallant-aviator movies, such as THE LOST SQUADRON, of 1932, in which Richard Dix and Joel McCrea played aviators, unemployed after the First World War was over, who went out to Hollywood and became stunt men, recreating the…

  • Big Business

    Big Business


    In 1938, when I was a student at Berkeley, I laughed so hard at Harry Ritz playing a hillbilly in KENTUCKY MOONSHINE that I fell off the theatre seat. (My date said he would take me to anything else but never to another movie. He became a judge.) I think I might have fallen off my seat again at BIG BUSINESS when Bette Midler appeared as a hillbilly girl in a frilly short skirt and petticoats, milking a cow…

Popular reviews

  • A Woman Under the Influence

    A Woman Under the Influence

    The Theories of R.D. Laing, the poet of schizophrenic despair, have such theatrical flash that they must have hit John Cassavetes smack in the eye. His new film, A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, is the work of a disciple: it's a didactic illustration of Laing's vision of insanity, with Gena Rowlands as Mabel Longhetti, the scapegoat of a repressive society that defines itself as normal. The core of the film is a romanticized conception of insanity, allied with the ancient…

  • Blue Velvet

    Blue Velvet

    “Out There and In Here”

    “Maybe I’m sick, but I want to see that again.”
    —Overheard after a showing of BLUE VELVET.

    When you come out of the theatre after seeing David Lynch's BLUE VELVET you certainly know that you've seen something. You wouldn't mistake frames from BLUE VELVET for frames from any other movie. It's an anomaly—the work of a genius naïf. If you feel that there's very little art between you and the filmmaker's psyche, it may be…