Kael Calls It Quits

She may be retiring from writing her regular column at the New Yorker, but influential film critic Pauline Kael insists she'll stay busy.

Kael, who's been at the magazine for 24 years, tells us she'll be doing other articles for the magazine, "some profiles and reflections, and possibly some 'Onward and Upward With the Arts' pieces." Adds Kael, "And I hope to write another book."

Now 72, Kael has had health problems in recent years, including, she says, "a bum heart."

"There's no point in kidding anyone," she tells us. "It's been harder to get out to screenings."

Still, she insists, "I feel pretty damn good."

Dutton will publish Kael's 12th book, the essay collection "Movie Love," in September. Holt plans a new edition of her massive film review collection, "5001 Nights," to include 800 new titles.

The March 11 issue of New Yorker acknowledges Kael's retirement following Terrence Rafferty's review of Oliver Stone's "The Doors." (Rafferty now takes over as chief film critic.)

Kael says it was her decision to retire now, rather than write a final column. And, she adds, "I was not eager to see another Oliver Stone movie."

Kael took heavy shots at Stone's "Platoon" in 1986, then passed on reviewing his ensuing titles, "Wall Street" (1987) and "Talk Radio" (1988), which she feels "were just so bad ."

But she plans to see "The Doors." She knew Morrison when he was a student at UCLA, and she was teaching a film course there, so "I'm pretty curious."

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