And so on. It is difficult to convey the effect of hundreds of pages of these questions. Those which have answers—Yes. No. What. I don’t know, sweetie; you’re the one that saw the movie—badger the reader, who is courteously inclined to think when addressed with question marks, into a mindless, degrading travesty of colloquy or dialectic. Others are coy, convoluted displays of erudition. Ms. Kael wants us to know, for instance, that she knows that Resnais is related to Malraux, and that Malraux is dead; also, that she knows the first name of Bertolucci’s father. Others still, addressed, like script-margin annotations, to the film itself (“Shouldn’t the movie be about why , etc.?”), are proprietary, prescriptive. Ms. Kael, having lost any notion of where the critic sits, wants to imply that she was at the story conference, that the film is somehow hers. And others still, in particular the outcries—to God, and Allied Artists and Bantam Books—are meant to demonstrate that she cares , cares more than anybody. It is over-whelmingly clear, however, from the reviews in this book, that one thing Ms. Kael has ceased to care about is films.
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I thought this line was especially thought provoking. Why is it that we see these thugs committing crimes yet we are almost always on their side? But when we hear of these things happening on the nightly news we just think, “oh another criminal.” We never want t0 be that guy on the nightly news. However when we see a gangster film we are fascinated by their lifestyle. I just find it interesting that these gangster films are much more well perceived than say a happy-go-lucky comedy film (some would say that would be more American because it doesn’t focus on ‘gloomy’ aspects). Maybe this is a research topic in the making? Who knows!