Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris

I think it's fair to say that Pauline Kael is widely viewed as being one of the greatest film critics of all time, if not the greatest film critic of all time. Why is it, then, that there is so little of Kael's work available on the Internet? Am I just looking in the wrong places?

I was never a regular reader of hers, primarily because I never subscribed to (or bought) The New Yorker. I was much more familiar with Andrew Sarris, her rival and sometimes arch-enemy, because of my subscription to the Village Voice. Truth be told, I never even knew the two had a rivalry until Sarris wrote a snarky review of one of her anthologies in the Voice, which was followed a month or so later by a scathing article in Rolling Stone by Greil Marcus (who was firmly in the Kael camp) about their rivalry/feud.

Kael has been gone for some time now, and Sarris, in his 80s, is no longer writing on a regular basis (though he does have a Facebook page). I'm not sure if there would be a market for such a thing, but I'd read a book about the two of them, and their divergent views on film.

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