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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11., No. 9. 28th July 1948

Review Reviewed

Review Reviewed

Dear Sir,

I must congratulate your critic on the "Well Digger's Daughter"—his review is a marvel of virtuosity that leaves me flabbergasted. I applaud him for knocking over so many ninepins in reaching the end of his column and would pause to shout him a beer were he not better advised to dodge the missiles that some jesting "fury" is now prompting me to throw.

Firstly, I presume that we are talking of the same picture and that the operator did not muddle the reels and interpose an epic on birth-control. I hope not, because his remarks on technique, [unclear: tme], eroticism, French peasantry, nasal habits of Americans, backsides and cars are extraordinary and [unclear: grotesque] children of his imagination.

"The players were merely required to blunder along in their accustomed manner"—but what a manner! "The film was a hotch-potch of poor acting"—surely not, the film was a fine exhibit of naturalistic acting in the best Comedie Francaise manner. Of course the thing was improbable, absurd, immoral, some of the characters conventional pasteboards, but it was all consciously done. How else explain the Keystone Cop effect of the car-ride to the airport. Instead of being melodramatic, the reconciliation scene was a model for most American producers, what fine scope there was here for facial contortions, mawkishness and heaven knows what agglomeration of emotion? Surely this was one of the wittiest of pictures—overlong and slight, but a pleasant diversion. (If photographers review films would it not be a good idea for them to remove their black cloth first?)

And if it was the seduction that caused the trouble, please, may I retire in haste with the words of a writer of doggerel:

"She is no Saynt, She is no Nonne, I think in tyme she may be wonne." Well, wasn't she?.

Throw Out The Lifeline.

Dear Sir,

What is Salient going to do about its film reviews? Either they should be omitted, or a competent reviewer should be appointed. In your last issue there are some paragraphs purporting to be a film review. I refer to the article headed "Raimu." This article is one of the worst of its kind that has ever appeared in Salient. The reviewer mentions that "the film was a hotch-potch of poor acting, where acting became evident." When people are only acting and not really living their parts then a film is bad, but when, as in this case, the people really live their parts the film is good. The majority of people do not go to a film to see the photography, but to enjoy the life portrayed by the film. I take it that your reviewer is an excellent photographer even if his general knowledge is not up to standard. Surely he knows that many French women are very fair and that many of them are albinos. However, he may rest assured that the odd "bottle blonde" is probably found in France. A reviewer should know a little about France before he attempts to review a French film.

I have been reading Salient film reviews since the days of "Whui" and feel that the sooner you find a reviewer who does not sleep through films as your present one evidently does, the more enjoyable Salient will be for those readers who hope to see the film reviews up to the previous standard.

Daphne Davey.