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Media Watch: Brits vs. Spielberg’s Tintin, Maslin vs. Kael

Media Watch: Brits vs. Spielberg's Tintin, Maslin vs. Kael

Thompson on Hollywood

The New Yorker explains the cultural divide between Europe, which knows and loves Tintin, and America, whose eminent director Steven Spielberg has his own cinematic take on Herge’s boy adventure hero. His movie The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn has already opened overseas and doesn’t hit stateside until December. (TOH’s London review is here.)

Speaking of The New Yorker, the NYT’s Janet Maslin goes after late New Yorker critic Pauline Kael, who is profiled in Brian Kellow’s new biography (IW has excerpt, here) and looms large in Paulette critic James Wolcott’s own 70s memoir, Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York. Was Maslin an auteurist all along? Remember that she was a film critic at the NYT during the period when Kael was reviewing at The New Yorker. Maslin and lead critic Vincent Canby took a more lean and sober approach to their daily film criticism than the passionate and powerful Kael, expounding weekly in The New Yorker. They were prime competitors.

The good news: the Kael bio has inspired many critics to chime in (we round up some pieces); and here are more reviews: Tom Carson, Jim Emerson, Farran Smith Nehme and reviews Kael got wrong.

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Adam Lewis

As a huge Tintin fan (from Australia now in UK) I must say I loved the film! Not sure what that reviewer was talking about! There was loads of guns and shooting in the Tintin books and the film was awesome! some amazing production design and editing!

Dixon Steele

As a lifelong NY times reader, I always though Canby and Maslin were the best. Clear, concise, unpretentious. Sure, Canby had his favorites who seemed to do no wrong (Woody Allen, Fassbinder), but he was also an excellent theater critic (and playwright!). He is missed, although I do like Maslin’s book reviews.

However, I never understood the adulation over Kael. Her New Yorker pieces seemed to be all about her, not the films. I couldn’t have cared less about Kael, so I stopped reading her.

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