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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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. And for some inexplicable reason, Sarris concludes that he would not have had this joy of discovery without the auteur theory. Kael is asserting that the auteur theory venerates directors who repeat uninteresting and obvious devices. 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.

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. As Kael notes artists have always re-used older material. What Kael seems to be asking is whether this is really a good criterion for the critique of film.

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

To Kael, Sarris concentrates on what is established, unoriginal in a work and ignores new ideas, one-offs and innovations. Kael proceeds by exploring the three premises or criterion of judgement that Sarris sets out. Kael, in characteristically sardonic and bitchy style, explains that:.


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 xnd judgement. The smell of a skunk is more distinguishable than the perfume of a rose; does that make it better?.

In essence Kael is arguing that the distinguishable personality of a director is a poor choice for criterion of judgement.

One may be able to more distinctly distinguish the gaudy, accidental, clumsy ane 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.

Kael goes on to add:. According to Kael if a director does not unify his style, the form, with the content vircles the script, then the director does not produce good art. 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.

The auteur critic, according to Kael, prefers products made out of inferior products: I will indicate where I feel both critics have got things squarew and got things wrong. Introductory Readings2nd Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press,pp.

Keeping My Brain Alive: Circles and Squares (excerpts)

South Yorkshire England View all posts by A. I read your posts for quite a long time and should tell you that your articles are always valuable to readers.


The article is professionally written and I feel like the author knows the subject very well. wquares

You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. The technical competence of a director as a criterion of value. The distinguishable personality of the director as a criterion of value.

Kael, in characteristically sardonic and bitchy style, explains that: Kael goes on to add: Really like the post, this has been a lot of help with my dissertation thank you. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.

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

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