Bonnie and Clyde
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On its initial release, a contemptuous press reaction and a nervous studio almost colluded to ensure Arthur Penn’s funny, bloody masterpiece was destined for obscurity. Then The New Yorker published Pauline Kael’s forceful, defensive essay on the film. ‘How do you make a good movie in this country without being jumped on?’ Kael opined, going on to nail the power and importance of Bonnie and Clyde while suggesting it was a vanguard work that could usher in a new kind of American movie-making. The film would become a box office smash and gain Oscar recognition; perhaps the ultimate example of the power of a film critic. MH
Rob Garver’s documentary What She Said: the Art of Pauline Kael will be screened on Friday 8 November