Pauline Kael was born in Petaluma, CA, in 1919, and attended the University of California at Berkeley in the 1930s. She tried and failed to work as a playwright in her 20s, and began writing film reviews as a freelance writer for film journals in the 1950s. After success with national magazines in the 1960s and publishing her first book, "I Lost It At the Movies,", she became a film critic for The New Yorker in 1968, and wrote for that magazine until 1991. She published 13 books of her essays and criticism, and won the National Book Award in 1974, and wielded power and influence, even after retiring. She passed away on September 3, 2001.