"There is no doubt that Pauline was a great writer and critic, but she was also a great American character. When I was a reporter for Film Daily, I was invited up to Connecticut for a press conference for a film that was being prepared by Otto Preminger (that he never made). I got to ride in a car with Pauline and Andrew Sarris. As we were standing around, Andy started going off to Preminger about his vision, and I remember Pauline saying, 'Oh, Andy, cut the crap. You know that Hurry Sundown is a piece of shit. Even Otto will tell you that.'" -Jonathan Demme, from the Premiere tribute to Kael, December 2001
One of the most influential and admired American film critics, Pauline Kael reviewed films for The New Yorker from 1966 to 1991. Known for her iconoclastic views (she was fired from McCall's after condemning The Sound of Music), Kael regularly endorsed films that were dismissed by other prominent critics (ie. Bonnie & Clyde, The Long Goodbye, Used Cars). Many of these films are now considered classics and, in some cases, Kael's reviews paved the way for this perception.
Along with Robert Altman, Brian De Palma, and Fred Schepisi, Jonathan Demme was one of Kael's favorite contemporary filmmakers. She is often credited with establishing his reputation, among film critics, filmgoers, and even within the film industry, itself.
(For Pauline Kael interviews, see the Links section of the site.)