Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 16. August 14, 1952
Letter — Who Missed the Mark?
Who Missed the Mark?
Sir.—I wish to comment on Mr Rich's review of "The Tales of Hoffman." I have never seen an opera. I attend films to be entertained and to escape for a while from mundane existence. Tonight I watched the filming of "Tales of Hoffman"—was entertained and for two hours adventured with Hoffman.
If opera is like this I like opera Perhaps I was drugged by trick photography, technical ingenuity, exaggerated make-up, miming and singing. If that is so it is not an unpleasant way of being drugged have no hangover and enjoyed the drug while effective.
Was the second act vulgar? Mr. Rich has Informed us that half-naked women, barely covered, were portrayed. Oh. Mr. Rich, no wonder you closed your eyes.
In short Mr. Rich your criticism has missed the mark. No one cared whether Tcherina wore black shorts or scarlet shorts or whether doll-makers' workshops have bright yellow gauze or dull brown scrim. Its the effect that counts. And I sincerely believe that this filming of 'The Tales of Hoffman" has captured the spirit of the opera and successfully conveyed it to a film audience.
P.S.: Congratulatione editor. "Salient" improved every issue.
[We accept your congratulations and point out that the paper is only as good as the material in it. If Mr. Rich's criticism missed the mark then your letter has not even fired. If you have not seen opera (and obviously know nothing of film, opera or ballet) then with what validity can you say that this film captures the spirit of opera? Obviously you did have a hangover, and you were drugged, perhaps with those half-naked women that you were so careful to observe. It is rather futile to assert that "no one cares whether Tcherina . . . ." when it is apparent that Mr. Rich cares and you care enough to comment on it. Please remembers in future that the paper is only as [unclear: good] as the material in it.—E.d.]