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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The smell of a skunk is more distinguishable than the perfume of a rose; does that make it better?. He is a good critic if he helps people understand more about the work than they could lael for themselves; he is a great critic, if by his understanding and feeling paulinf the work, by his passion, he can excite people so that they want to experience more of the art that is there, waiting to be seized. I will indicate where I feel both critics have got things right and got things wrong.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Kael is asserting that the auteur theory venerates directors who repeat uninteresting and obvious devices. This is not so far from the way the auteur critics work, either. Kael proceeds by exploring the three premises or criterion of judgement that Sarris sets out.

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

The article is professionally written and I feel like the author knows the subject very well. I read your posts for quite a long time and should tell you that your articles are always valuable to readers. You are commenting using your Facebook account. South Yorkshire England View all posts by A. 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.

He is a bad critic if he does not awaken the curiosity, enlarge the interests and understanding of his audience. The distinguishable personality of the director as a criterion of value.

The technical competence of a director as a criterion of value. 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. He is not necessarily a bad critic if he makes errors in judgment.


What Kael seems to be asking is whether this is really a good criterion for the critique of film. But how does this distinguishable personality function as a criterion for judging the works?

And the greatness of a director like Cocteau has nothing to do with mere technical competence: Sarris has noticed that in High Sierra not a very good movie Raoul Walsh repeated an uninteresting and obvious device that he had earlier used in a worse movie.

The auteur critic, according to Kael, prefers products made out of inferior products: Film aesthetics as a distinct, specialized field is a bad joke.

Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Kael, in characteristically sardonic and bitchy style, explains that:. 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. An artist who is not a good technician can indeed create new standards, because standards of technical competence are based on comparisons with work already done. Oct Nov Dec Kael, in characteristically sardonic and bitchy style, explains that: By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

Really like the post, this has been a lot of help with my dissertation thank you.

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

This is obvious in listening to music, seeing plays, reading novels, watching actors; we take it for granted that this is how we perceive the development or the decline of an artist. And he is expendable if categories replace experience; a critic with a single theory is like a gardener who uses a lawn mower on everything that grows. Email required Address never made public. In essence Kael is arguing that the distinguishable personality of a director is a poor choice for criterion of judgement.

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Oxford University Press,pp. Kael goes on to add:. Kael sums up her criticism by wondering why the auteur theory prefers certain commerical films — a saving grace of circlrs auteur theory some will say.

The smell of a skunk is more distinguishable than the perfume of a rose; does that make it better? As Kael notes artists have always re-used older material.


Squaares is an insult to an artist to praise his bad work along with his good; it indicates that you are incapable of judging either Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: 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.

This site uses cookies. 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. Jan Feb Mar Apr.

The art of the critic is to transmit his knowledge of and enthusiasm for art to others. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Those, like Sarris, who ask for objective standards seem to want a theory of criticism which makes the critic pahline.

To Kael, Sarris concentrates on what is established, unoriginal in a work and ignores new ideas, one-offs and innovations. And it is very difficult to explain to such people that criticism is curcles just because there is pauine 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. These critics work embarrassingly hard trying to give some semblance of intellectual respectability to a preoccupation with mindless, repetitious commercial products.

There must be another circle that Sarris forget to get to – the one where the secrets are kept. According to Kael if a director does not unify anf style, the form, with the content of the script, then the director does not produce good art. Introductory Readings2nd Edition, Oxford: Infallible taste is inconceivable; what could it be measured against?