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'Platoon' View

April 19, 1987

Along with Joseph Patridge (Calendar Letters, April 4) and in opposition to Kurt Bigenho (April 11), I too found "Platoon" mere cinematic sensationalism.

Bigenho reveals his artistic values when he asks: "Why shouldn't ("Platoon") be calculated to shock?" And again: "The best movies not only tickle our cranium, they beat our emotions to bloody pulps."

Well, the films of the Challenger disaster certainly did that. And a realistic documentary depicting a series of rape and mutilation murders would do the same. Does that make them cinematic art in any creative sense?

The nature of art and of the genuine aesthetic experience are subjects too complex to pursue in a brief letter. But as a concrete starting point for an investigation into these matters, I suggest that Bigenho compare "Platoon" with "A Room With a View." The latter is cinematic art of quality. The former is a puddle of blood.

FELIX DOHERTY

Bellflower

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