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Those TV Film Critics

January 10, 1988

So Goldstein and Calendar are worried about TV film "crickets" lowering "cricketal" standards.

Well heck, pilgrim, it's kind'a hard defend'n' this school of "cricketism," 'specially since David Sheehan is one of its Founding Fathers. I mean, this is a feller who thought "Days of Heaven" was a bad movie.

Who would want to defend TV film critics, or anything to do with network TV? Certainly nobody who has ever seen at least 25 films of any originality and style.

One of these "crickets" said it all when he claimed they were consumer guides. Exactly! Casual moviegoers and the more callow teen-agers might have need of them, might even deserve them. The rest of us are free to pay some kind of perverse attention to them or turn them off.

In case you guys hadn't noticed, culture has flattened out. The age of King James is long gone, never to return. There are billions and billions of typewriters and word-processors out here, everybody's at least TV literate and everybody's a film critic.

Why shouldn't Mayor Koch and Yogi Berra do film criticism? I'm sure they can find an audience, maybe even a learned, earnest one. Jerry Lewis did. And the fact that newspapers are generally a cut above the TV types is like saying there are more good fishermen in Japan than Antarctica.

The film industry has never been top heavy with quality. Very little art has ever been produced on film. If these TV "crickets" are sending herds of people to see bad or unoriginal, styleless films, so what?

Just as we have the politicians we deserve, so also do we have the film critics we deserve. A little quality and a lot of rubbish. Relax, that's life in the 20th-Century.

CHARLES CHICCOA

West Hollywood

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