Taking It All In
From the Blurb: Taking It All In is the seventh collection of Pauline Kael's movie reviews, and it maintains the high standard she set for herself almost twenty years ago in I Lost it at the Movies and has held to in each of its memorable successors: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Going Steady, Deeper into Movies, Reeling, and When the Lights Go Down. From its title, which sums up in a phrase the Kael way of seeing and writing about movies, to its concluding pieces, a sympathetic and evocative consideration of Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander, this newest volume is potent evidence of Pauline Kael's enthusiasm, discrimination, wit, and famous style. Taking It All In, following the weekly pattern of The New Yorker where all the pieces first appeared, runs from June 1980 to June 1983, and brings to life some 150 films-The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Mommie Dearest, Reds, Tootsie, The Stunt Man, Gandhi, Sophie's Choice, Diva, Diner, Return of the Jedi. Very early in the book there is a piece entitled "Why Are Movies So Bad?"; it provides a devastating answer. Yet, as Kael is quick to point out, good movies are still being made. She herself is adept at discovering them, and when she does, she writes about them with a sense of celebration. Taking It All In takes its proper place alongside Pauline Kael's other collections. Together the seven volumes represent an achievement without parallel in movie criticism-a record of two decades of regular movie-going, kept by a critic of exceptional sensibility and knowledge. The voice, though often imitated, remains inimitable; the pleasure for the reader, encountering it again, remains unconfined.
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