Politics and Sociology Book Description: Siegfried Kracauer was one of the twentieth century's most brilliant cultural critics, a daring and prolific scholar, and an incisive theorist of film. In this volume his finest writings on modern society make their long-awaited appearance in English. This book is a celebration of the masses--their tastes, amusements, and everyday lives.
Is There a Cure for Film Criticism? While he states in the beginning of his review that he has, on the whole, favorable sentiments towards the book, he nevertheless criticizes Kael for being "stronger on the intellectual side than on the aesthetic side"  as well as her persistence in quoting other critics out of context.
In the process, Macdonald confutes some of the assertions Kael makes about his own opinions regarding certain movies. The trouble with most film criticism today is that it isn't criticism.
It is, rather, appreciation, celebration, information, and it is written by intellectuals who have come to be "insiders" in the sense that they are able to discourse learnedly about almost any movie without thinking much about whether it's any good - the very question must strike them as a little naive, and irrelevant - because they see it as a greater, or lesser, manifestation of the mystery, the godhead of Cinema.
This, in a way, highlights the differences in their perspectives on movies: Pauline Kael sees movies as a fusion of pop and art elements a mixture of lowbrow and highbrowwhile Macdonald sees it in more highbrow terms.
On the whole, Macdonald seems to respect her critical acumen, but not her methods. A more adverse reaction comes from the auteurist Andrew Sarris, mainly as a result of the essay '" Circles and Squares ", which was originally published in Film Quarterly.
Sarris's reaction was in response to Kael's denunciation of the Auteur theory's merits, and has, in later years, occasionally jabbed at Kael's work. Examples of his critical observations are available in his books, e.
With the exception of "Circles and Squares", Kael has rarely responded. Notwithstanding Kael's unresponsive silence, this has gone down in film lore as the Sarris-Kael feud. Further reading[ edit ] The book actually does not contain the full range of Kael's writings published in magazines from this period.
FromKael had written for a short-lived section of Film Quarterly entitled Films of the Quarter, alongside other critics such as Stanley Kauffmann and the screenwriter Gavin Lambert.
Some, but not all, of these writings are included in this book. Miscellaneous[ edit ] In reference to the title of the book, the critic Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote an article entitled "I Missed It at the Movies: The Unauthorized Autobiographythe book is referenced under the parody title I Lost Something at the Movies, and a short snippet of the made-up book is included, where the author theorizes correctly that the fictional film titled Zombies in the Snow awkward dialogue is actually written as such in order to pass on messages in a secret code.
The name of the fictional author given, "Lena Pukalie", is also an anagram of Pauline Kael. Quotes[ edit ] I would like to suggest that the educated audience often uses "art" films in much the same self-indulgent way as the mass audience uses the Hollywood "product," finding wish fulfillment in the form of cheap and easy congratulation on their sensitivities and liberalism.
By the time he has established an epistemological system to support his right to observe that it's a lovely day, our day has been spoiled. When a really attractive Easterner said to me, "I don't generally like musicals, but have you seen West Side Story?
It's really great," I felt a kind of gnawing discomfort. I love musicals and so I couldn't help being suspicious of the greatness of a musical that would be so overwhelming to somebody who didn't like musicals. You don't have to lay an egg to know if it tastes good.
I came out of the theater, tears streaming, and overheard the petulant voice of a college girl complaining to her boyfriend, "Well I don't see what was so special about that movie. For if people cannot feel Shoeshine, what can they feel?
My identification with those two lost boys had become so strong that I did not feel simply a mixture of pity and disgust toward this dissatisfied customer but an intensified hopelessness about everything.leslutinsduphoenix.com: The Past's Threshold: Essays on Photography () by Siegfried Kracauer and a great selection of similar New, Used and Collectible Books available now at great prices.5/5(1).
Siegfried Kracauer (February 8, – November 26, ) was a German writer, journalist, sociologist, cultural critic, and film theorist. He has sometimes been . Variations on the theme of the ornament in Kracauer's urban writings, suggesting ways in which the subjective can reappropraite urban life.
For Siegfried Kracauer, the urban ornament was not just an aspect of design; it was the medium through which city dwellers interpreted the metropolis itself.
Siegfried Kracauer describes photography as atomizing the world’s particulars, dissociating fragments of the visual world from the actual, contextual relationships that structure significance, and then archiving them within abstract systems of coordination. 37 He claims that with the rise of photography, “the world itself has taken on a.
Biography. Born to a Jewish family in Frankfurt am Main, Kracauer studied architecture from to , eventually obtaining a doctorate in engineering in and working as an architect in Osnabrück, Munich, and Berlin until Near the end of the First World War, he befriended the young Theodor W.
Adorno, to whom he became an early philosophical mentor.
Siegfried Kracauer 17 followers Born to a Jewish family in Frankfurt am Main, Kracauer studied architecture from to , eventually obtaining a doctorate in engineering in and working as an architect in Osnabrück, Munich, and Berlin until /5(1).