David is thinking about the meat faerie (zoomardav) wrote,
David is thinking about the meat faerie

Pauline Kael

Have you ever read any Pauline Kael? She was film critic for the New Yorker and she is one of my favorite essayists. I bought the last collection she published the other night and I've been enjoying it. Indulge me in a brief quote from her review of Rain Man:

Rain Man is Dustin Hoffman humping one note on the piano for two hours and eleven minutes. It's his dream role. As the autistic savant Raymond Babbit, he's impenetrable: he doesn't make eye contact or touch anyone or carry on a conversation; he doesn't care what anybody thinks of him. Autistic means self-involved, and Raymond is withdrawn in his world of obsessive rituals. So Hoffman doesn't have to play off anybody; he gets to act by himself.

Ouch. It's great to see such a huge insult written so well. Kael's use of punctuation is so intricate it's like watching a great magician: you see just what she wants you to see, the mechanics are invisible. Also, word choice. The word "humping" elevates this from disposable to classic.
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