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The Readers Respond to 'Moviemakers, Movie Critics and You' : Pearls in the Hollywood Oatmeal

November 04, 1990

Let me see if I've got this right. Because film critics have to see, in the course of their work, such a huge volume of films, their critical standards get lowered because of the high percentage of trash that Hollywood churns out. Well, that last bit is certainly beyond dispute.

I would think, however, that critical standards would be strengthened rather than lowered. The pearls would stand out that much more brilliantly against a background of generic, Hollywood oatmeal.

If the staples of a critic's diet are made up of "Rockys," "Terminators," "Back to the Futures," Bruce Willis vehicles, etc., how much more grateful he must be, how much more obvious difference there must be, when the critic gets his rare chance to review the likes of "Reversal of Fortune," "After Dark, My Sweet," "The Icicle Thief," "Life and Nothing But," "Miller's Crossing" and "GoodFellas."

As far as the rest of it goes, we're talking about simple integrity. The critic either has respect for what he does, or he sells a little of it at a time, in which case he himself becomes part of the oatmeal.

CHARLES CHICCOA, Glendale

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