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Salient.The Newspaper of Victoria University College. Vol. 19, No. 4. April 6, 1955

A Critique

A Critique

The scope of the first "Salient" was of necessity confined to a very small range of topics, reports on the several student conferences and congresses, notices, an odd article, and a kindly editorial addressed to freshers, were all that filled the first four pages of the first issue.

It is a difficult task to criticise these as they, in the main, state only facts, and provided that each subject is adequately covered, no more can be asked. This therefore leaves me no option but to criticise the criticism of "On the Waterfront" by Mr Rich.

It would be petty to dispute the critic's Insight and judgment up to the point where he mentions the technicians. At this stage, I feel, be consciously or unconsciously becomes a victim of his own knowledge of the emoluments of the directors, and of him-making technique, which he complains stand in the way of his direct enjoyment of the film. This, while in its way a valid criticism, is perhaps too personal to have a place in a review intended to guide the ordinary student.

This approach is similar to that adopted by those who go to the opera or concert, text and score in hand, and delight in the verbatim or note for note reproduction of the master copy; and if they detected a line out of place in one of the actor's speeches, would (like the Frenchman attending a performance of Cyrano de Bergerac) stand up indignant, and cry "Monsieur, le texte!"

The critic who feels uneasy because he happens to know that one of the actors is wearing pink underpants and condemns the performance accordingly, has surely missed the point.

However, it might be my susceptibilities that are misleading rather than Mr. Rich's and in any case my remarks are addressed to no more than a paragraph and a half of a very fine review.

A. A. T. Ellis.