Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsSheila Benson
IN THE NEWS

Sheila Benson

FEATURED ARTICLES
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 1991
Times Critic at Large Sheila Benson is taking early retirement after nearly 11 years at The Times. Benson served as the paper's film critic from 1981 through last April, when she began writing a weekly column on the arts as critic at large. Prior to joining The Times, Benson was film critic of the Pacific Sun in Mill Valley, Calif., for eight years and also reviewed film for a Marin County radio station. In 1987, she was the recipient of the Woman's Building Vesta Award.
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 1991
Times Critic at Large Sheila Benson is taking early retirement after nearly 11 years at The Times. Benson served as the paper's film critic from 1981 through last April, when she began writing a weekly column on the arts as critic at large. Prior to joining The Times, Benson was film critic of the Pacific Sun in Mill Valley, Calif., for eight years and also reviewed film for a Marin County radio station. In 1987, she was the recipient of the Woman's Building Vesta Award.
Advertisement
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 1986
Many decent unsuspecting folk will flock to the recently opened film "Blue Velvet," on the strength of Sheila Benson's rapturous mid-week review (Sept. 19). Maybe they'll even love it. So will every pervert, sadist, masochist, deviate, misogynist, molester, druggie, transvestite, wife-beater and those who stop to gawk at bloody highway accidents. There's something in it for everyone. "Brilliantly disturbing," "visionary," "superlative acting," "purity of conviction," "endearingly corny"--such descriptive phrases lull the reader into an erroneous assumption that artistry would transcend its violent substance.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 1, 1991
Thank you for Sheila Benson's illuminating and witty "Frida Kahlo: From Cult Figure to Mainstream" (May 21). Since she was kind enough to ask who should be cast in the movies planned on Kahlo's life, I'll offer my opinion. She is Karmin Murcelo, who portrayed Frida in a play by Marion Wagman at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. It was an inspired, layered and deeply involving performance that met the "extraordinary challenge" Benson speaks of. KATHRYN O'LOUGHLIN Santa Monica
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 1987
Would someone please translate the first sentence of Sheila Benson's article about John Boorman (Critic's Notes, Nov. 8) into English?: "John Boorman is not a better writer than he is a film maker than he is a writer." JAMES BAKER Northridge
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 1991
" 'Perfectly Normal' is your movie . . ." goes the blurb attributed to Times film critic Sheila Benson in an ad for the new Four Seasons release. It may be yours, but it's not Benson's. What she really wrote in her largely negative review was, "If opera-kitsch sounds fabulous to you, then 'Perfectly Normal' is your movie."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 1988
Last year in The Times' movie listings Sheila Benson did not give a star to "The Color Purple." This year she starred "Dirty Dancing" but not "The Last Emperor," which just won 9 Oscars. I have a few questions: 1--Why is she a film critic? 2--What is her background? 3--Is she near retirement age? JACQUI HEILAND South Pasadena
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 1988
Sheila Benson's condemnation of "Running on Empty" and "Betrayed" is an example of how the mindless babble of the right is overtaking what once was a serious newspaper. I am canceling my subscription after 18 years. LAURENCE F. JAY Los Angeles
MAGAZINE
February 25, 1990
We cannot believe Sheila Benson's nomination of the Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion Cinemas for "most comfortable seats," (Currents, Jan. 7). The backs of the seats are concave and can only be comfortable to the Hunchback of Notre Dame. When a film is shown there that cannot be seen elsewhere, we come prepared by bringing pillows to put behind our backs. WALLACE UMBER, Los Angeles
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 1988
The National Hispanic Media Institute has reviewed Sheila Benson's review of "The Milagro Beanfield War" (" 'Milagro' Magic Relies on Redford's Warm Touch," March 18). Our first reaction was that the review was shallow and insulting. Upon further consideration of the matter, and after looking up some of the words used by Benson such as "cloying" and "pixilated," we have decided to send Benson a dictionary and a copy of Strunk and White's "Elements of Style." Her real problems can be solved by resorting to these two books.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 1991
I would like to compliment your critic at large, Sheila Benson, on her excellent piece "When 'Nice' Simply Isn't Good Enough" (April 16). Benson made the point that sentimentalizing "worthy" subjects can often be worse than not treating them at all. As a producer and distributor of films, we are constantly on the lookout for subjects that are both relevant and compelling; yet unfortunately, so many of the projects we see are more concerned with...
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 1991
" 'Perfectly Normal' is your movie . . ." goes the blurb attributed to Times film critic Sheila Benson in an ad for the new Four Seasons release. It may be yours, but it's not Benson's. What she really wrote in her largely negative review was, "If opera-kitsch sounds fabulous to you, then 'Perfectly Normal' is your movie."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 1990
Re "Lean Times for Foreign-Language Films," Feb. 25: There will be fat times from April 20 to May 3 when the American Film Institute Los Angeles Film Festival will present over 100 foreign-language films from more than 40 countries in five cinemas. All of the films mentioned in Sheila Benson's article as important will be presented in the AFI L.A. FilmFest. Many of film makers will be here as well. AFI Los Angeles Film Festival was organized four years ago in cooperation with the Filmex Board to replace Filmex as the Los Angeles International Film Festival after that fine festival had financial problems.
MAGAZINE
February 25, 1990
We cannot believe Sheila Benson's nomination of the Samuel Goldwyn Pavilion Cinemas for "most comfortable seats," (Currents, Jan. 7). The backs of the seats are concave and can only be comfortable to the Hunchback of Notre Dame. When a film is shown there that cannot be seen elsewhere, we come prepared by bringing pillows to put behind our backs. WALLACE UMBER, Los Angeles
ENTERTAINMENT
December 25, 1988
Re: "Mississippi Burning": "Black leaders like Coretta Scott King and journalists who covered the 1960s civil-rights movement" may be angry and/or surprised at how director Alan Parker distorted history by telling "the civil-rights struggle from a white point of view and relegating blacks to background and 'victim' roles." (Outtakes, Dec. 18). Movie buffs who have followed Parker's career are not at all surprised, however. A decade ago, he so twisted/fictionalized the story of Billy Hayes (the American arrested for attempting to smuggle hashish out of Turkey)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 1988
When Kevin Thomas reviewed "Running on Empty" upon its release, he described it as a "remarkable film" and a "superior achievement with superlative performances." And these words have been reappearing each Sunday in Calendar's listing of continuing movies. Several weeks later, Charles Champlin gave us a mature and laudatory analysis that made it clear he understood the point of the story as well as the ambiguities and complexities in the characters--two of whom are former '60s political radicals in hiding from the FBI for years ("The Fullness of 'Running on Empty,' " Sept.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 1985
In her review of "Garbo Talks" in October, Sheila Benson said: " 'Garbo Talks' is so thoroughly and entirely satisfying, it's almost sinful . . . a novella of a movie . . ."; 'Garbo Talks' is a pearl taken from a grain of sand . . . the best kind of comedy--the kind that proceeds from character . . ."--and more. Yet in Benson's "10 Best Film Picks--and Then Some" (Dec. 30), on her favorite films of '84 she lists no fewer than 26 movies--and not a word about "Garbo Talks." I don't get it. Moreover, I'd be reluctant to have Benson say she loved me. DAVID L. TRENFIELD Los Angeles
ENTERTAINMENT
June 1, 1991
Thank you for Sheila Benson's illuminating and witty "Frida Kahlo: From Cult Figure to Mainstream" (May 21). Since she was kind enough to ask who should be cast in the movies planned on Kahlo's life, I'll offer my opinion. She is Karmin Murcelo, who portrayed Frida in a play by Marion Wagman at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. It was an inspired, layered and deeply involving performance that met the "extraordinary challenge" Benson speaks of. KATHRYN O'LOUGHLIN Santa Monica
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 1988
Last year in The Times' movie listings Sheila Benson did not give a star to "The Color Purple." This year she starred "Dirty Dancing" but not "The Last Emperor," which just won 9 Oscars. I have a few questions: 1--Why is she a film critic? 2--What is her background? 3--Is she near retirement age? JACQUI HEILAND South Pasadena
Los Angeles Times Articles
|