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LETTERS

Cutting room accident

March 07, 2004

I must take exception to the theme of Enrique Krauze's conclusions in his article on "21 Grams" ("Hollywood Deaths: An American Dream," Feb. 22).

Mr. Krauze would like to believe that it was some flaw in American culture that accounted for the lack of enthusiasm from audiences about "21 Grams." For me, the flaws were not the fault of the audience but could be laid solely at the foot of the director. Despite a good script and many superb performances, the result seemed like a great film that had suffered a sad accident in the cutting room.

It looked to me as if Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's reach had exceeded his grasp. When a skater tries for a quadruple back flip with an extra half turn, the judges certainly give points for degree of difficulty. But when the landing is an ungainly sprawling heap on the ice, the score drops considerably. Each cutting decision needs to be carefully thought out so that it adds to the impact, not detracts from it. Like the careful faceting of a professional diamond cutter, every edit should have worked toward making the film a perfect shining whole, more brilliant than it could ever have been in its raw form.

Judith Yoakum

Camarillo

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