What She Said

TRAILER

“She had a more positive influence on the climate for film in America than any other single person over the last three decades.” 

Roger Ebert

“It turns out to embody something appalling and widespread in the culture.” 

-Renata Adler, in the New York Review of Books

WHO WAS SHE?

Pauline Kael (1919-2001) was likely the most powerful, and divisive, movie critic of the 20th century. Writing for The New Yorker and publishing a dozen best-selling books, she ruthlessly pursued what made a movie or an actor’s performance work, or not, and why. Her passion made her both admired and despised amongst her readers.

Pauline’s own story is one of struggle and obsession: the fight to establish her voice and have it heard, and raise a daughter on her own in a time when the obstacles were high.

Her career began as the Hollywood studio system ended, and finished just as the digital age was born.

The latter golden age of movies of the 1960s and 1970s are the focus of this film that pursues the question of what made Pauline Kael’s work so individual, so influential — and so damned good.

FILMMAKERS

PARTICIPANTS

Quentin Tarantino
David O. Russell
Alec Baldwin
Francis Ford Coppola
Paul Schrader
Shirley Knight
John Boorman
Robert Towne
James Toback
Joe Morgenstern
James Wolcott
Gina James
William Whitworth
Marcia Nasatir
Christopher Durang
John Guare
Carol Baum
Tom Pollock
Molly Haskell
Roy Blount Jr.
Thomas Baum
James Hamilton
David V. Picker
David Edelstein
George Malko
Stephanie Zacharek
Greil Marcus
Craig Seligman
Michael Sragow
Brian Kellow
Carrie Rickey
Allen Barra
Daryl Chin
Gerald Gray
Steve Vineberg
Francis Davis
Philip Lopate
Daniel Menaker
Jaime Manrique
Camille Paglia
Laurence McGilvery
Ortun Neisar
Chester Villalba
Dirk van Nouhays

PHOTOS

“I try to use my initial responses to explore not only what a movie means to me, but what it may mean to others: to get at the many ways in which movies, by affecting us on sensual and primitive levels, are a supremely pleasurable and dangerous art form.”

-Pauline Kael

News

23
Oct

What She Said: The Art Of Pauline Kael selected as finalist in 2015 Paley DocPitch Competition

How do you sell a documentary? Watch and learn as five preselected up-and-coming nonfiction filmmakers pitch their ideas before a live audience and a group of eminent documentarians.

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08
Jul

UPDATE, Summer 2015:

With principal photography now complete, we have launched a Kickstarter campaign to seek finishing funds for the documentary. Find our project on Kickstarter under “New & Noteworthy” or by clicking this link

26
May

UPDATE, Spring 2015:

Filming ​over the winter ​has taken the filmmakers from New York to Pennsylvania, ​to ​San Francisco and Berkeley, California, where Pauline Kael ​was raised and educated; then to Los Angeles, and Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where she lived for the last 25 years of her life. Over 40 interviews have been shot, with writers directors, artists and friends, amongst others.

Shooting continues ​in the spring in the New York metropolitan area.

Work also continues at the Pauline Kael archives, located at the Lilly Library at Indiana University, where the filmmakers have located new photographs and audio material that has not yet been made public.

Press

13
Oct

The New York Times

The Gonzo Vision of Quentin Tarantino

In the darkening light of the Hollywood Hills, Bret Easton Ellis bonds with the pulp filmmaker over their shared love of cinema and his crusade to continue telling stories that are both forward-thinking and timeless.

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01
Oct

The New Yorker

“In a 2011 magazine piece about the great and controversial Pauline Kael, who served as The New Yorkers film critic from 1968 until 1991, Nathan Heller described the propulsive, sometimes vexing singularity of her voice like this:”

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01
Oct

Huffington Post

“Quentin Tarantino Calls Pauline Kael The Kerouac Of Film Critics In Upcoming Documentary”

By Erin Whitney

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08
Jul

Indiewire, Project of the Day

“‘What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael’ Examines the Genius of One of the Most Celebrated Film Critics”

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