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Details. article: Circles and Squares; author(s): Pauline Kael; journal: Film Quarterly (01/Apr/); issue: volume 16, issue 3, pages ; DOI. Circles and Squares. Pauline Kael. FILM QUART, Vol. 16 No. 3, Spring, ; ( pp. ) DOI: / Pauline Kael. Find this author on Google. A rejection of Sarris’ auteur theory Learn with flashcards, games, and more — for free.

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In every art form, critics traditionally notice and point out the way the artists borrow from themselves as well as from others and how the same device, techniques, and themes reappear in their work. Kael proceeds by exploring the three premises or criterion of judgement that Sarris sets out.

Introductory Readings2nd Edition, Oxford: Kael, in characteristically sardonic and bitchy style, explains that:. According to Kael if a director does not unify his style, the form, with the content of the script, then the director does not produce good art.

The technical competence of a director as a criterion of value. The greatness of critics like Bazin in France and Agee in America may have something to do with their using their full range of intelligence and intuition, rather than relying on formulas. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. I read your posts for quite a long time and should tell you that your articles are always valuable to readers.

Often the works in which we are most aware of the personality of the director are his worst films – when he falls back on the devices he has already done to death. I will indicate where I feel both critics have got things right and got things wrong. The Inner Circle The third and ultimate premise of the auteur theory is concerned with interior meaning, the ultimate glory of the cinema as an art. South Yorkshire England View all posts by A. And the greatness of a director like Cocteau has nothing to do with mere technical competence: Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.


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A Couple of Squared Circles, Sarris and Kael – Part II – The Motley View

But how does this distinguishable personality function as a criterion for judging the works? Really like the post, this has been a lot of help with my dissertation thank you. The art of the critic is to transmit his knowledge of and enthusiasm for art to others. Kael goes on to add: And he is expendable if categories replace experience; a critic with a paauline theory is like a gardener who uses a lawn mower on everything that grows.

Kael, in characteristically sardonic and bitchy style, explains that: He is not necessarily a bad critic if he makes errors in judgment. And for some inexplicable reason, Sarris concludes that he would not have had this joy of discovery without the auteur theory.

They want a simple answer, a formula; if they approached a chef they would probably ask for the one magic recipe that could be followed in all cooking. What Kael seems to be asking is whether this is really a good criterion for the critique of film. This site uses cookies. The article is professionally written and I feel like the author knows the subject very well.

A Couple of Squared Circles, Sarris and Kael – Part II

One may be able to more distinctly distinguish the gaudy, accidental, clumsy hand of a second-rate director than the light, delicate hand of a first-rate director but it does not, or should not, indicate the better director between the two. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here There must be another circle that Sarris forget to get to – the one where the secrets are kept.

These critics work embarrassingly hard trying to give some semblance of intellectual respectability to a preoccupation with mindless, repetitious commercial circoes. Traditionally, in any art, the personalities of all those involved in a production have been a factor in judgement, but that the distinguishability of personality should in itself be a criterion of value completely confuses normal judgement.

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Film Quarterly () – Circles and Squares – The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki

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To Kael, Sarris concentrates on what is established, unoriginal in a work and ignores new ideas, one-offs and innovations. It is an insult to an artist to praise his bad work along with his good; it indicates that you are incapable of judging either To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Kael goes on to add:. And it is very difficult to explain to such people that criticism is exciting just because there is no formula to apply, just because you must use everything you are and everything you know that is relevant, and that film criticism is particularly exciting just because of the multiplicity of elements in film art.

Kael is asserting that the auteur theory venerates directors who repeat uninteresting and obvious devices. The smell of a skunk is more distinguishable than the perfume of a rose; does that make it better?. Criticism is an art, not a science, and a critic who follows rules will fail in one of his most important functions: You are commenting using your Twitter account. Kael sums up her criticism by wondering why the auteur theory prefers certain commerical films — a saving grace of the auteur theory some will say.