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Perhaps no film critic has been as influential, or as controversial, as Pauline Kael (1919-2001). The short documentary Ed and Pauline (2014) explores Kael’s early writing life by focusing on her successful partnership with – and brief marriage to – Edward Landberg (1923-2012), with whom she ran the beloved Berkeley Cinema Guild and Studio in California. Combining archival footage, re-enactments and interviews with industry insiders such as the filmmaker John Waters, the directors Christian Bruno and Natalija Vekic reveal Kael’s impact on cinema lovers in California’s Bay Area, before her fame-making stint as a film critic at The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991. Using excerpts from Kael’s programme notes for the small independent theatre, Bruno and Vekic find fragments of the idiosyncratic opinions, anti-elitist sensibilities and witty, colloquial voice that made her writing legendary.
Directors: Christian Bruno, Natalija Vekic
Website: Electric Park Films
Stories and literature
What makes John Keats’s ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ so enduringly powerful?
Dance and theatre
How a Noh mask-maker summons a lifelike face from a single block of wood
The ancient world
What wine vessels reveal about politics and luxury in ancient Athens and Persia
David Goldblatt captured the contradictions of apartheid in stark black and white
Philosophy of mind
Do we have good reasons to believe in beliefs? A radical philosophy of mind says no
Philosophy of religion
How a devout Catholic philosopher approaches the problem of evil
Love and friendship
When drawing your muse hundreds of times becomes an exercise in love
Thinkers and theories
Is simulation theory a way to shirk responsibility for the world we’ve created?
A dazzling slice-by-slice exploration of wood exposes hidden patterns and hues