AFTERGLOW: A LAST CONVERSATION WITH PAULINE KAEL
In this uneasy little memento, reminders of the influential movie critic’s zip and power in her prime are ungraciously overshadowed by crotchets and twice-told pronouncements perhaps reflecting the discomforts of infirm old age. Afterglow grew out of a conversational interview made for public radio in 2001 that never meant to be a book and does neither of the participants any favors. ”[Tom Hanks] was wonderful on…Bosom Buddies. He’s much less interesting now” may be a provocative remark, but it sure ain’t up to Kael’s piercing written standards — and the frail old lady isn’t to blame. (She died a year ago.) The interview was conducted by Davis (a music critic and ”Paulette,” as her band of acolytes are called), who encourages his guru to restate old firebrand positions on lowbrow movies (loves ’em) and current movie criticism (disdains it).