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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 7, No. 3. May 3, 1944

The Worm Turns

page 5

The Worm Turns

Dear Sir,—I was most disappointed to see such a lamentable display of harsh and showy criticism as appeared in the film and stage reviews of your issue of April 13th. Surely intelligent University students should have learnt to criticise wisely without completely derating. And how could "Salient's" editorial staff present three such offensive criticisms in one issue?

Of the film criticisms, that of "In Which We Serve" was the less obnoxious though it scarcely did credit even to Mr. Coward's opinions in producing such a detrimental picture of the crew. Some of the "Random Harvest" criticism, for and against, was earned, but the writer seems singularly afraid of appearing over-sentimental or of placing too much credence on the adage relating truth and Action. He forgets also that much of the story is told only in part and that a couple who have comfortably boarded in the country on the girl's income or savings might quite possibly rent a "pretty little cottage" with their original means of support augmented to a small degree by the earnings of the husband.

What really rankles, however, is the bad taste displayed in the criticism of what was, for the most part, an excellent amateur production. The whole presentation of "As You Like It" (with the admitted exception of Rosalind) showed an admirable treatment of a play rendered difficult by its many now-hackneyed lines and by the tendency of the public to look upon Shakespeare as unpleasant medicine. But Jacques' rendering of "All the world's a stage" could well be appreciated for the naturalness and meaning restored to a speech which is so often parrotised. Nor does a comedy set to music lose in entertainment value by being treated much as a musical comedy. Must Shakespeare always be "Shakespeare"?—in deprecatory tones—or may we enjoy his comedies as did many of his contemporaries and as have thousands of not unintelligent people through passing centuries?

Now may I justly sign myself, Yours, etc.,

Critics Critic.

(May I bring to the notice of Critics' Critic the following points:
aIn two or three hundred words it is difficult to put forward any more than the main impression gained from the film.
bIt is quite coincidental that three unfavourable reviews appeared in one issue.
cThere are very few film reviewers, consequently there is little diversity in the reviews.

We appreciate your criticism and hope that it will extend to one of the current outstanding films.—Ed.)

As films are in short supply due to war requirements, it is necessary to make the best use of them. To this end the Photographic Club intends holding fortnightly meetings through-cut the year. Students will be able to hear lectures by recognised authorities who will in most cases exhibit their own work as examples. As in the past members of the club will be able to have their work criticised; much valuable help will thus be obtained.

The club is fortunate in possessing an excellent enlarger and we have full facilities for developing and printing films.

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