Sunday, December 04, 2005

More Pauline Kael

Essential quotes from "Trash, Art, and the Movies." Everywhere the word "movie," "movies," or "movie-going" appears, please substitute "comic," "comics," or "comics-reading":

(1) A good movie can take you out of your dull funk and the hopelessness that so often goes with slipping into a theater; a good movie can make you feel alive again, in contact ... If somewhere in the ... entertainment world someone has managed to break through with something that speaks to you, then it isn't all corruption. The movie doesn't have to be great; it can be stupid and empty and you can still have the joy of a good performance, or the joy of a good line. An actor's scowl, a small subversive gesture, a dirty remark that someone tosses off with a mock-innocent face, and the world makes a little bit of sense. (pp. 106-7)

(2) Perhaps the single most intense pleasure of movie-going is this non-aesthetic one of escaping from the responsibilites of having the proper responses of us in our official (school) culture. ... Far from the supervision and official culture ... the liberation from duty and constraint allows us to develop our own aesthetic responses. (pp. 126-7)

(3) If we go back and think over the movies we've enjoyed --even the ones we knew were terrible movies while we enjoyed them-- what we enjoyed in them, the little part that was good, had, in some rudimentary way, some freshness, some hint of style, some trace of beauty, some audacity, some craziness. (p. 131)

(4) I don't trust anyone who doesn't admit having at some time in his life enjoyed trashy American movies; I don't trust any of the tastes of people who were born with such good taste that they didn't need to find their way through trash. (p. 140)

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