This collection of interviews with Stanley Kauffmann (b. 1916) provides a virtual history of the journalistic practice of criticism in twentieth-century America. His creative life spans seven decades, and since 1958, he has been a film and drama critic for the New Republic, the New York Times, and Saturday Review. He also has been an actor, stage manager, playwright, novelist, and editor.
Along with Dwight Macdonald, Andrew Sarris, and John Simon, he is one of the potent, influential critics included in the New York school of twentieth-century American criticism. The Los Angeles Times called him "the Dean Swift of our country's criticism." Susan Sontag proclaimed him "one of our national treasures."
In this collection of interviews conducted by Charlie Rose, Dick Cavett, and others he speaks both of the role of theater and film criticism in American culture and of the crisis he perceives within it. With wit and erudition Kauffmann discusses many subjects-film directors who emerged during his long tenure at the New Republic (e.g., Martin Scorsese and Federico Fellini), actors who performed on both stage and screen, novels and their film adaptations, and the fractious relationship between Hollywood and the independent film movement.
The precision and concise phrasing of Kauffmann's writing chime also in his brilliant conversations as he speaks of sex, taste, realism, the rise of film festival culture, and government subsidy of the arts. The volume ends with a conversation from 1998 in celebration of Kauffmann's forty-year tenure at the New Republic, where he continues to publish film reviews every week.
The collection reveals this critic's sense of cultural mission by showing how Kauffmann applies to drama and film the same high standards he applies to fiction, poetry, music, and theater. Conversations with Stanley Kauffmann reveals that this love of the arts is expressed in his finely honed gift for cogent, witty, wise commentary.
Bert Cardullo, a professor of theater and drama at the University of Michigan, has written and edited several books on film and theater and has been published in the Hudson Review, the New Republic, Literature / Film Quarterly, South Atlantic Quarterly, and other publications.
Table of Contents
|Something About Film Makes People Nuttier than Other Arts||3|
|To the Theatre with Love: A Polemic||8|
|Film to Me Is Another Art||33|
|Literary Criticism: Stanley Kauffmann||54|
|Theatre in America: A Dialogue with Stanley Kauffmann||70|
|Stanley Kauffmann on the Dick Cavett Show||82|
|Interview with Stanley Kauffmann||93|
|Studs Terkel Interviews Stanley Kauffmann||101|
|Stanley Kauffmann on the Unknown Shaw||120|
|Writing about Movies (and the Theatre): An Interview with Stanley Kauffmann||134|
|A Coupla White Guys Sittin' Aroun' Talkin': A Conversation with Stanley Kauffmann||153|
|The Film Generation and After: A Conversation with Stanley Kauffmann||159|
|Stanley Kauffmann Talks about Forty Years of Film Reviews||195|