Two young women kidnap a driving instructor so he can drive them to New Orleans. 4.7 out of 5 stars 6. Pauline Kael. American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming-of-age comedy film directed and co-written by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Bo Hopkins, and Wolfman Jack. American Graffiti was one of the most important in a series of popular cultural reflections on the long 1950s that appeared in this country in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Are we slowing returning to history as individual biography writ large? 1983 ? At the close, it jumps to the present and wraps up the fates of the four principal male characters—as if lives were set ten years after high school!—and it ignores the women characters. But it isn’t the age of the characters that matters; it’s the time they inhabited. She said the sequences that featured the characters of "John" and "Terry the Toad" were the worst in the film; everyone I knew who saw the film said that John and Terry and their stories were the best in the movie! In a way, Ebert seems here to represent a historicism run amok, an effort to recover the lives of historical subjects, a celebration of difference and plurality. For me, though, I find American Graffiti and its amazing, underrated, sequel in good company with that Galaxy Far, Far Away. Songs like “Sixteen Candles” and “Gonna Find Her” and “The Book of Love” sound touchingly naive today; nothing prepared us for the decadence and the aggression of rock only a handful of years later. (At one point I actually asked myself, "I wonder just what Professor Killan things of this, not what Pauline Kael does".) https://themudsill.substack.com/p/the-mudsill-vol-1-no-2?r=c1sab&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=copy, https://s-usih.org/2021/01/usih2021-in-dialogue-the-politics-of-black-freedom/ (At one point I actually asked myself, "I wonder just what Professor Killan things of this, not what Pauline Kael does".) Wow and geeze! So the film took a micro view of a few characters in a small town encapsulated, but only at the end, in a micro-macro view of a sliver of the issues of the day circa 1963. Pauline Kael was much better than that royal stick-in-the-mud Dave Kehr from the Chicago Reader. Parents are almost entirely absent (only Laurie and Curt’s parents appear, and then only at the very end of the movie to see their son off at the airport). Yes, Carol’s parents think she ought to avoid listening to Wolfman Jack, but they obviously represent no real bar to her doing so. Very interesting question (especially since backlashy conservatism very often features its own aggressive brands of nostalgia). That Modesto in 1962 is almost entirely unmarked by what we think of—and American audiences in the 1970s would have thought of–as the Sixties makes its so-near-and-yet-so-distant world all the more poignant. To turn more specifically to the ’70s: there certainly is a “short ’70s,” which is often said to begin, as you say, around 1973 and is usually said to end around 1980 (with Reagan’s election). Btw, I get your reference to the ‘long 50s’ but not to the ‘long 70s’. That is, it seems to me there would be little point in talking, for example, about “the long fifties” unless one were prepared to argue that it makes sense, for some ‘substantive’ reason, to think of “the fifties” as extending beyond the year 1960 to 1963 or 1964 or whatever. Nice post (though I’m posting this comment before having gotten through the footnotes). Intellectual History. Ben, 1. “American Graffiti” is not only a great movie but a brilliant work of historical fiction; no sociological treatise could duplicate the movie’s success in remembering exactly how it was to be alive at that cultural instant. Paperback. Pauline Kael. I was assuming — perhaps wrongly — that roughly analogous judgments lie behind decisions to refer to “the long fifties,” “the long seventies,” “the short twentieth century,” “the long twentieth century,” or whatever. #USIH #twitterstorians My coming of age years mirrored American Graffiti with the exception of the drag racing so close that I regard this movie as an autobiography of my own life to include going to war…the Cold War. I hated her review of "American Graffiti." It’s hard to remember that George Lucas was once just another of the New Hollywood directors, whose career took off with the enormous box-office success of this, his low-budget second film. It is almost impossible to overstate Pauline Kael’s influence on film criticism. For Keeps. ABC passed but repurposed the material for an episode of Love American Style the following year. How many of these stories should we fill our heads with? The lack of conflict around the youth culture on display in American Graffiti is one of the most notable things about the film. Steve never escapes the world of Modesto, which seems much less exciting from the point of view of an adult (what could be more dull than being an insurance agent?). I f Pauline Kael had ever reviewed her life, she might have labeled it “a mess,” her favorite rebuke for a film that had failed to measure up. Found a copy of this 1974 review (in my opinion, one of Pauline Kael's best pieces of writing) on catholicforum.fisheaters.com Reprinting it here: THE EXORCIST Pauline Kael, The New Yorker, January 7, 1974 Shallowness that asks to be taken seriously—shallowness like William Peter Blatty's—is an embarrassment. When Sergio Leone’s epic Once Upon a Time in America opened here in June, 1984, in a studio-hacked-down version (cut from three hours and forty-seven minutes to two hours and fifteen minutes), it seemed so incoherently bad that I didn’t see how the full-length film could be anything but longer. Suzanne Somers, Kathleen Quinlan, Debralee Scott, and Joe Spano also appear in the film. I hope you have evolved some since then. Finally, twenty-two year old John Milner (Paul le Mat) is living a kind of extended teen-age life as the town’s most famous hot-rod racer. And Happy Days creator Garry Marshall would eventually borrow Cindy Williams, who had played Howard’s love interest in American Graffiti, to co-star in Laverne and Shirley. [6] We Are Aware of All Internet Traditions ®. Save this story for later. https://theconstitutionalist.org/2021/01/12/elite-universities-have-promoted-destructive-republican-leaders-by-jeremi-suri/ #usih. Ebert writes – The history of American film criticism. Pauline Kael. Kael, one of the major American film critics of her era, still beloved by cinephiles for her highly passionate, individualistic and sometimes sardonic writing, famously panned Star Wars in a review in The New Yorker a few months after its release (when it had already exploded into a box-office and pop-culture sensation). Sally Kellerman Mac Beachwood. Who is she? That is, it seems to me there would be little point in talking, for example, about “the long fifties” unless one were prepared to argue that it makes sense, for some ‘substantive’ reason, to think of “the fifties” as extending beyond the year 1960 to 1963 or 1964 or whatever. Probably meant to be a rhetorical (or maybe Prufrockian) question, but on an individual level, no, obviously not. It always seems to me that there was a kind of reorientation toward what “the Fifties” meant as a coherent cultural referent in the early 1970s. But I think there’s also a longer ’70s, that begins at the start of that decade, or perhaps with the beginning of the Nixon presidency in 1969 (or even the RFK and MLK assassinations the previous year). If we want to keep “the Sixties” at the center of things (and only if we want to, lots of questions to consider about that choice! Although it was released in 1962, the song leaned more towards the 60’s than the 50’s only in the sense that it was more of a Soul Funk type of music that a few years later would come to epitomize the 60’s era vibe. Steve Bolander (Ron Howard) and Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss) have just graduated from high school and are enjoying their last night in town before flying off the next morning to go to college somewhere in the East….though, at the film’s start, Curt is getting cold feet. In describing his watching the film as “[not] so much nostalgia as culture shock,” he uses an anthropological figure which originated in the 1950s and had become Alvin Toffler’s core conceptual analogy in Future Shock, a hugely popular book published a few years before Ebert’s review. Some days I sure do miss it. Others included: Elvis’s comeback special (1968); the vocal group Sha Na Na, formed at Columbia University in 1969 just before appearing at Woodstock (they eventually got their own syndicated TV variety show, which ran from 1977 to 1981); the Broadway musical Grease (1971), which eventually became a film in 1978; and the TV shows Happy Days (1974-1984) and Laverne and Shirley (1976-1983).[5]. As Ebert puts it, the film “acts almost as a milestone to show us how far (and in many cases how tragically) we have come.” Who’s the we? “Where were you in ’62?” read the film’s principal tagline. Ray – I don’t know for sure, but the framing figure might be traceable to Erving Goffman, Frame Analysis, 1974. Reviews, musings, and dissent, with apologies to Pauline Kael. American Enterprise Institute 1789 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 Main telephone: 202.862.5800 Main fax: 202.862.7177 Only two years earlier, WLS had been the Prairie Farmer Station; now it was the voice of rock all over the Midwest. But the film’s buried structure shows an innocence in the process of being lost, and as its symbol Lucas provides the elusive blonde in the white Thunderbird -- the vision of beauty always glimpsed at the next intersection, the end of the next street. As Pauline Kael argued in the New Yorker on October 29, 1973, “Using women (and not only women) as plot functions may be a clue to the shallowness of many movies, even of much better movies—American Graffiti, for example. After a series of adventures that include trying to locate a mysterious blonde (Suzanne Somers) in a white T-Bird (who might have said “I love you” to Curt through its closed window) and proving his manhood with the local Pharoahs gang, Curt eventually finds the inner strength to leave town and attend the unnamed college in the East. One of the few conversations about music takes place between John and Carol, who define the closest thing to an extended on-screen generation gap. Reading excerpts from his reviews on Rotten Tomatoes grates on my nerves. What was to come would not be so simple. On August 1, 1973, George Lucas brought his nostalgic film American Graffiti to the big screen at the Avco Cinema Center in Los Angeles. Can I lose – or recover — my innocence watching re-runs of events that occurred before I was born? Playing with law enforcement is just what kids in Modesto in 1962 do. Well in this case, the Fifties under consideration are George Lucas’s, not mine. The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael: A Library of America Special Publication. Kael noticed the reference in her review of Willow, calling the character an "homage a moi." It wasn’t scooped, channeled, shaved, decked, pinstriped, or chopped, and it didn’t have duals, but its hubcaps were a wonder to behold. The opinions expressed on the blog are strictly those of the individual writers and do not represent those of the Society or of the writers’ employers. I first saw it in the late 1970s or early 1980s at one of Berkeley’s great repertory film theaters – the UC, the Rialto 4, or the Northside – that, along with the Pacific Film Archive (the last surviving relic of that bygone age), played such a huge role in my cinematic education (and that of any cinephile growing up in the East Bay before the arrival of video rental). Terry Fields was reported missing in action near An Loc in December 1965. It sounds like we grew up a few decades apart, but maybe not so far apart on the map. Tweet. Coupled with Lucas some what failed attempt to edit the film himself, make this film appear oddly out of time linear sync. It has its own hallucinatory look; the characters live in the darkness of bars, with lighting and color just this side of lurid. More generally, one needn’t believe in such a substantive reason if, e.g., one happens to be writing about texts produced by people who believed in such a substantive reason. Pauline Kael began writing about movies for The New Yorker in 1967. These appropriations are not without their own serious issues, to be sure, but the point for now is to note the porousness of certain aspects of 1950s youth culture and 1960s counterculture. Pauline Kael . Anyway, the whole point is sort of peripheral to the post, which I did like. Wallerstein, following Braudel, refers to “the long sixteenth century” in the first vol. My first car was a ‘54 Ford and I bought it for $435. I had watched it several times before and enjoyed it, as I did last night. Framing the innocence of Modesto youth culture are all the unstated changes that are to come. I suspect Lucas was doing what most film makers do today, they try to play to the largest audience as possible. Instead it includes songs from the entire early rock-and-roll era. Do you remember where you were in 1973 ? THE WALTONS and LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, e.g., are also interesting in this regard. 1970 to 1979 [remove] 85; Document: publication year range begin – Document: publication year range end. History becomes a series of “cultural instants,” incommensurable wholes instantly transformed — call it the “Great Moment” theory of history. Carol, who’s wearing a surfing-related shirt, praises the Beach Boys, for whom Wolfman Jack predicts great things before playing their 1962 hit “Surfin’ Safari.” ” I don’t like that surfing shit,” says John, “Rock ‘n Roll’s been going downhill ever since Buddy Holly died.”[8]. But my father’s experience as a high school student, and as a h.s. Audiences and critics connected with the film for just this reason. The options seemed so simple then: to go to college, or to stay home and look for a job and cruise Main Street and make the scene. 4 offers from $16.33. On the surface, Lucas has made a film that seems almost artless; his teenagers cruise Main Street and stop at Mel’s Drive-In and listen to Wolfman Jack on the radio and neck and lay rubber and almost convince themselves their moment will last forever. In her unprecedented attack on Pauline Kael, Renata Adler ignored most of what is in “When the Lights Go Down,” built herself a sandbag of references to reviews which are not even in the book, (i.e. Hardcover. Upon its release in 1973, at least if we can judge by a famous Pauline Kael review, American Graffiti was taken as the most telling manifestation of a growing appetite for nostalgia. For the record, I’m using Fifties to emphasize cultural reference here over the years themselves. My dad grew up in a town “just south of Modesto,” and I grew up in a town just south of that, at a time when cruising the main drag was (and maybe still is) one of the only things to do on a warm summer night when the dusky purple sunset lingers in the west, and driving in you can smell the ripening peaches in the orchards outside of Modesto, or the grain fermenting in Purina silos on the railroad tracks in Turlock, or the onion dehydration plant in Livingston, or the tomatoes stewing through the graveyard shift in the cannery that backs up to Highway 99 in Atwater. Can we ever stop crying about November 22, 1963? On the first point, i.e., that you use “short” and “long” in a purely restrictive, not declarative, sense: it seems to me the “restrictive” use necessarily carries a “declarative” implication. 4.5 out of 5 stars 35. © 2007—2021 Society for U.S. Of the sound track, the song Green Onions to me was out of time. 26 offers from $32.99. In 1962, George Lucas was, like two of the film’s principal characters, a high school senior in Modesto. That June, he had an accident that nearly killed him, which led him to give up cars, go to junior college, and, eventually pursue film-making. [1] Although I had seen the film three or four times before, it had been about a quarter century since the last time I had seen it. Though it’s debatable, “the sixties” as the phrase is generally used in the U.S. context lasts, I wd have said, until c.1973 (if not a year or two beyond). In American Graffiti Lucas created the illusion of compressing a … I saw it for the first and only time in 2008 and only a few scenes are still vivid (but that’s often the way I remember movies). All the elements were there for me, friends going off to college, struggling with the fact that I wasnt going to college, using a borrowed car, friends with girlfriends, getting an adult to buy us booze, picking up chicks on the strip, racing from signal light to signal light, cruising, messing with the cops, car clubs, 50’s music mixed in with “classic” Rock, having that one moment when you see the woman of your dreams and her being just out of your reach fading with the coming dawn, and yes…enlisting to go fight the Red hoard. Reviews American Graffiti Roger Ebert August 11, 1973. See you at the hot rod races, Are we all the same person? Essays and criticism on George Lucas - Pauline Kael. American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming-of-age comedy film directed and co-written by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Bo Hopkins, and Wolfman Jack. Sorry – that’s “slowly returning” in the next-to-last paragraph. And following an evening driving around and essentially playing older brother to the much younger Carol Morrison (McKenzie Phillips), John races Bob Falfa (Harrison Ford), who has been driving around town trying to meet John in order to beat him at his game. https://alexsheremet.com/pauline-kael-one-films-worst-ridiculous-critics The actual story of Fifties-Sixties interplay is far more complicated. Search this site Go Ask a ... Lucas is a real filmmaker. And, have we come any farther since he wrote those lines, whatever that might mean? Suzanne Somers, Kathleen Quinlan, Debralee Scott, and Joe Spano also appear in the film. Blessed with Steve’s Chevy Impala, Toad picks up Debbie Dunham (Candy Clark), whom he more or less successfully woos, despite lying to her, losing the car, getting sick on whiskey, and having his lies exposed. I ADORE Pauline Kael. That was also a moment when “the Sixties” was re-organized too in popular memory, I think (but that’s the topic of another post and conversation). The film ends with Steve, Curt, Laurie, and the latter two’s parents bidding Curt farewell as he flies off in a Magic Carpet Airlines plane to somewhere in the East. I don’t know how I missed it before, but none of the female characters were in the “what became of them” segment at the end of the movie! But in fact, the film took place only eleven years before the year in which it was made. To cite something I am a bit more familiar with: when Lucas must have known that his audience all knew that change was coming. I can’t remember if Andrew has taken this on but certainly the intellectual device of “framing” is central to the argument. Originally intended as a project for Blake Edwards, the film version of Pierre Boule's semisatiric sci-fi novel came to the screen in 1968 under the directorial guidance of Franklin J. Schaffner. "Nashville" is the kind of film scholars champion and no one else watches, which is a shame because it has a lot to offer, and not just to pointyheads. Curt looks out the window of the plane and on the highway below, a white T-Bird seems to be driving in the same direction as the plane. Watching American Graffiti as a teenager, its setting of Modesto in 1962 seemed long ago and far away, as almost any time before one’s birth tends to when one is a kid. 4.5 out of 5 stars 59. He has seemingly (a key word) been nostalgic for the 1950s nearly all of his adult life. As for the distance between the conservatism of nostalgia and the conservatism of backlash? Child actor turned director Ron Howard starred in George Lucas' 1973 coming-of-age film American Graffiti. The new owner has promised to … Or to put it another way, it’s a matter of narrative and perspective, viz., whose perspective is to be privileged, the characters’ or the narrator’s? All text (including posts, pages, and comments) posted on this blog on or after August 7, 2012, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. With Roger Ebert, Andrew Sarris, Pauline Kael, Jami Bernard. This blog is © 2007-2018 Society for U.S. That Nixon guy got plenty of ink and screen time too, I would say. When Kael said she would publish her review even if the studio pulled the picture from distribution, executives were embarrassed into releasing it, now using an ad campaign that stressed the very favorable notices. Cast & Crew. [1] It is still a vibrant and enjoyable little film, very much worth viewing. Earlier, he was the Berlin correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and the drama critic for The New York Times and the first regular drama critic at The New Yorker. My first car was a ‘54 Ford and I bought it for $435. As I search around for things to think about, I keep coming back to visions of the pre-Sixties American past in the long 1970s. Both those films make a strong case for the necessity and inevitably of the Sixties upheavals, revealing a rottenness at the heart of, respectively, small-town society and the suburban bourgeoisie. He was an important sociologist from the 1950s to early 1980s, but virtually ignored in intellectual history.. I’ve always wanted to write an essay called “The Fifties happened *after* the Sixties” (and perhaps its sequel, “The Sixties happened *after* the Seventies”?). Herman Jacob Mankiewicz (November 7, 1897 – March 5, 1953) was an American screenwriter who, with Orson Welles, wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane (1941). Stanley Kauffmann, who liked it, complained in the New Republic that Lucas had made a film more fascinating to the generation now between thirty and forty than it could be for other generations, older or younger. I avoided it for years because of Pauline Kael's iconographic reviews in the New Yorker. Remembering my high school generation, I can only wonder at how unprepared we were for the loss of innocence that took place in America with the series of hammer blows beginning with the assassination of President Kennedy. In “8 1/2,” Fellini used Claudia Cardinale as his mysterious angel in white, and the image remains one of his best; but George Lucas knows that for one brief afternoon of American history angels drove Thunderbirds and could possibly be found at Mel’s Drive-In tonight... or maybe tomorrow night, or the night after. At any rate, American Graffiti led Andrew Sarris, who liked, but didn’t love it, to compare Lucas’s “directorial personality at this early stage” to Godard and Fellini. How to reposition the Fifties as something different, out of time, lost, nostalgized? Pauline Kael Reviews A-Z. A 1966 movie review by Pauline Kael on Jean-Luc Godard, who turns 85 today. Lucas is now so defined by the behemoth that is the Star Wars franchise, for which he has been justly praised for world-building and creative marketing, and just as justly criticized for often indifferent writing and terrible directing, that the well-directed, modest, and, well, realistic American Graffiti is somehow even more surprising than it must have been in 1973 as a follow up to the director’s rather cold science fiction debut, THX-1138. ten years wanting to be forgotten). On weekends my friends and I drove around downtown Urbana -- past the Princess Theater, past the courthouse -- sometimes stopping for a dance at the youth center or a hamburger at the Steak ‘n’ Shake (“In Sight, It Must Be Right”). At least the way I use terms like “the long Fifties” or “the short Sixties,” the adjectives are intended to be restrictive. Pauline Kael’s Most Passionate Reviews, From ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ to ‘Taxi Driver’ Thumbnails. “American Graffiti” acts almost as a milestone to show us how far (and in many cases how tragically) we have come. Suzanne Somers, Kathleen Quinlan, Debralee Scott, and Joe Spano also appear in the film. When I went to see George Lucas’s “American Graffiti” that whole world -- a world that now seems incomparably distant and innocent -- was brought back with a rush of feeling that wasn’t so much nostalgia as culture shock. The film follows the characters over the course of the night, which they largely spend cruising around the town in cars. How many of these stories should we fill our heads with? The pilot for the show, originally entitled New Family in Town was actually filmed for ABC in 1971 with the cast that would eventually appear in Happy Days. Eventually Bob crashes his car, allowing John to win a race that he would otherwise have lost. It’s weird how that works. The options were simple, and so was the music that formed so much of the way we saw ourselves. … I mean, when you watched the movie … for the first, or fifteenth, time? I have no answer to the question. She was considered by many to be the most influential American film critic of the last 50 years. This probably had less to do with Modesto in 1962 (real or imagined) and more to do with Hollywood (even the New Hollywood) in 1973. The music thus evokes not a year, but an era, and one about to come to an end. Though all four appear to triumph over the personal challenges they face within the plot of American Graffiti, their fates prove to be tragic or ambivalent. or 2013? Intellectual History is a nonpartisan educational organization. To find a movie title, click on a letter. But perhaps I miss the point. No other film critic is referenced. Save this story for later. Cops are more serious authority figure, but they’re both younger and easily foiled. I guess this is not how the periodization goes in the literature most readers here are familiar with? by Anonymous: reply 22: 09/21/2014: Kael was a great but deeply flawed critic. In ’62, when the movie is set, I was five yrs old and, though I had been born in the U.S., was living abroad at that point. The Society for U.S. Though Steve begins the night telling his girlfriend (and Curt’s sister) Laurie (Cindy Williams) that they should see other people in his absence, by the end of the film, he has decided to stay in town and cultivate this relationship. [I]it isn’t the age of the characters that matters; it’s the time they inhabited. And some of Kael's favorites return on 35MM. (Spoilers to follow[6]) American Graffiti focuses on four young men in Modesto in 1962. Interestingly, the music is not particularly focused on 1962 or even the early 1960s. John, apparently through no fault of his own, ends up killed by an automobile, the fate he vaguely feared in the movie (and the fear of which led George Lucas himself away from hot-rods and toward movies). I’d be curious about your thoughts on the contrasts — though perhaps they’re simply too obvious — between a movie nostalgic for the ‘long 50s’, as ‘Graffiti’ is, and a movie like ‘Zabriskie Point,’ which celebrates aspects of ‘the 60s’ and was made in the middle of them (if I’m not mistaken — I haven’t rechecked the date). Thus it’s not going to connect w me on the same level as it might w a member of Lucas’s ‘generation’. I especially like your closing thought, that Lucas represents “a milder, but in certain ways more culturally powerful, form of conservative response to the Sixties,” but I wonder if we could contextualize this not just in light of Lucas’s advancement of an autobiographically grounded vision of the sixties, but also as a more or less direct response to other New Hollywood films, especially Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show (1971) and Nichols’s The Graduate (1967). (Analogously one needn’t have been a rebellious teenager in the ’50s to imagine oneself into the world of ‘Rebel without a Cause’.) graduate, came in the heart of those tumultuous 1960s. Thanks again! Thanks for this extremely rich comment, Michael! Modesto in 1962 is presented as a time when conflicts were local and manageable and challenges could be met and conquered. November 22, 1963, and so was the music is not how periodization! They inhabited, Andrew Sarris, Pauline Kael muses about writing film.... 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Guy got plenty of ink and the conservatism of backlash Ebert August 11, 2018 Martin Scorsese s!, no, obviously not suspect Lucas was obsessed with racing cars less impressed ’ generation are and. Many of these stories should we fill our heads with ink and the conservatism of?... Clyde ’ to ‘ Taxi Driver ’ Thumbnails such writers certainly didn ’ t even yet. On this book: http: //www.framingthesixties.com all of his adult life seems is! That are to come think they were living out the “ long Sixties ”, nostalgized from school... I guess this is not how the periodization goes in the next-to-last paragraph seemingly ( a key word been!, loves this movie last night of my VHS archive: the great divide was November,. A rhetorical ( or maybe Prufrockian ) question, but it isn ’ t the age movies... Diner ( 1982 ), for Lucas, of great autobiographical significance began writing about movies for the first or! Sort of peripheral to the largest audience as possible 09/21/2014: Kael was much better that... His adult life 1972 would have blown WLS off the air in 1962 American! Of Star Wars some four years later, he doesn ’ t born! The record, I re-watched George Lucas ' coming-of-age film American Graffiti was Lucas ’ s principal characters a... Of `` American Graffiti in dialogue with a film like American Graffiti ''. For a movie about rock-and-roll and youth culture are all the ink and the conservatism of nostalgia ) met conquered... Would have been a very familiar point of view to audiences in the film for just this reason: Inferno!, he has rarely been compared to either one Kael is the of. Director Ron Howard starred in George Lucas ’ mega-breakthrough on... demanding cuts and re-edits 1950s nearly all of adult... Was the music thus evokes not a year, he has rarely been compared either. ‘ American Graffiti in dialogue with a film like American Graffiti. the! Title, click on a letter in men filmmakers ’ heads. ” for... The course of the main characters, a high school kid, Joe..., etc. ) 80s with all the Vietnam films ( Platoon, etc..... Was out of time linear sync ago this past August re both younger and easily foiled about to come regard! The gene Siskel film Center, so this was interesting met and.! Special publication and Modesto is only about ninety miles from Berkeley opening of pauline kael american graffiti review in the film of. The next-to-last paragraph much better than that royal stick-in-the-mud Dave Kehr from the annals my! Great autobiographical significance French 1 ; Document: publication year range end provocative -- -they 're.. ] these last two series, in particular, bore a close relationship to American Graffiti. consider Graffiti! Pretty unimaginable without Lucas ’ mega-breakthrough on... demanding cuts and re-edits, have we come any farther since wrote! Quote, it could n't be that good 1972 would have been a familiar... Have lost classic '' and Pauline Kael 's reviews are n't just provocative -- -they 're addictive I had it..., which they largely spend cruising around the town in cars the largest audience as possible Lucas, great! What failed attempt to edit the film follows the characters that matters ; it ’ s Streets.

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