Will you listen to this Pauline Kael interview with Woody Allen, which happened in early 1974? They’re mainly talking about Sleeper (12.17.73), Allen’s most recent film at the time, and Kael is offering sincere praise here and there but she’s also telling Allen, politely, what she feels is lacking in his films or about aspects of his films that don’t quite work for her

Does Allen stiffen or bristle or get a tad defensive? No, he’s totally fine with this (or pretending to be fine with it), half-agreeing or breaking into a discussion of some point she’s made or just listening.

Can you imagine any big-time critic or columnist conducting such an interview with a major filmmaker today? Saying nice things but also sharing discreet criticisms from time to time? It would never, ever happen.

Allen later told Roger Ebert that he admired Kael, but that during their interview “she had everything but judgment.”