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I repeat: this movie is definitely worth your time if you care about movie (or any other kind of) criticism. It’s intelligently directed, not just a mish-mash of interviews, and the stuff on Kael-Sarris is well done and adequately highlighted (at least within the confines of the movie itself; I of course would liked it to have gone on for a couple more hours).
(Eventually, someone will make a movie like this about the history of rock criticism. I’m thinking Tarantino might be an appropriate director?)
I can’t remember if Kauffmann was in there or not; I know Simon wasn’t. Gerald Peary introduced the film when I saw it, with a Q&A afterwards. For what it’s worth, he made it clear he was a much bigger fan of Sarris than of Kael.
Phil, I like the way Kauffmann is utilized — no real context provided for him, but he appears in a series of short clips throughout (though most of them are early on, him talking about some of the pioneers of movie criticism).
Since you mention it, I can see that about the director and Sarris. Obviously, he was able to put Sarris in the movie, and not Kael, but the movie does pretty much resolve itself on the auteur issue, by insisiting Kael herself was just as susceptible to it (with her own set of pet director causes) and sort of ends on that note. A way too tidy ending to that particular segment, but the story about their rivalry was in general handled pretty interestingly.