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The Critic And His Critics

September 28, 1986

With reference to Bernheimer's review of the Franco Zeffirelli film "Otello" (Sept. 19), what a sad waste of talent in your music critic.

He has amply demonstrated a competence in musical arts and traditions, a fair range of vocabulary and wit. On the negative side he has too frequently guarded the music's traditions more zealously than its art, permitted his vocabulary an excess of splenetic overkill and allowed his wit to regress to the carping of a precocious juvenile.

There were a number of flaws in that magnificent film that properly should have been identified by a reasonable critic, and Bernheimer didn't as much identify them as pounce on them.

It was to us exciting, stimulating and moving in the main; free of the filtering exercise and the need for a generous imagination that attends a night at the opera, where if the soprano can act or if the tenor can draw his sword without emasculation, that's a bonus.

This "Otello" is high cinematic art, and here's the test: We're going again.

INGEBORG STERN

Sherman Oaks

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