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Democratic corporealities of love : the architectural cinema and eroticized publics of Pauline Kael

West, Patrick 2015, Democratic corporealities of love : the architectural cinema and eroticized publics of Pauline Kael, Post Script, vol. 35, no. 1, Fall, pp. 47-55.

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Title Democratic corporealities of love : the architectural cinema and eroticized publics of Pauline Kael
Author(s) West, Patrick
Journal name Post Script
Volume number 35
Issue number 1
Season Fall
Start page 47
End page 55
Total pages 9
Publisher Post Script, Inc.
Place of publication Jacksonville, Fla.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 0277-9897
Keyword(s) Pauline Kael
Democracy
Love
Architecture
Publics
Erotics
Cinema
Plato
Jewish
Summary The American film critic Pauline Kael’s career interestingly parallels the Cold War period but nobody has explored this yet. Filling that gap, this essay constructs Kael’s writings and critic’s persona as a contribution to a discourse of international democracy. Kael was part of a generation of American critics who took seriously the importance of art to politics. However, she goes further than her contemporaries by energizing this relationship through her emphasis on corporeality—both on screen and off screen—and on the eroticized body. A discernible philosophical lineage runs from Plato’s version of love as described by Socrates in The Symposium to Kael’s writings and bodily habits. In this lineage, love is figured as relational and desiring. A second line of relationship between Plato and Kael is in the way they each connected erotic discourses to the very similar architectures of the andrôn (men’s quarters), for Plato, and the modern American cinema or screening room, for Kael. Plato and Kael draw out the inherent spatial energy of these places (which is most evident at the borders of andrôn and cinema) through the interactions they construct of images and talk with the erotic, love-based relationality of bodies. They thereby maximize the bodily powers of these architectures as places where a public of differences and (inevitably) “loose” democracy might form. Kael’s advocacy doesn’t suggest a formal political program so much as a more feminine democracy of erotic discourses allied to an energizing architecture suitable to the accumulation of plural, participatory corporealities.
Language eng
Field of Research 190204 Film and Television
1902 Film, Television And Digital Media
1904 Performing Arts And Creative Writing
Socio Economic Objective 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Post Script
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30088598

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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