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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 21, September 6, 1976.

Film Festival Review Comment

Film Festival Review Comment

Dear Sir,

I read your reviewer Simon Wilson's recent review of two films* in the Wellington Film Festival. I feel I should congratulate him on his intellect and ability to be "zapped out" (if you'll excuse the expression) by the cinema. However, while I praise him for this. I also feel he should realise that the job of a reviewer is to make some sense of a film to his readers.

Gratuitous comments about films being "at the centre of twentieth [unclear: century] art" are really rather superfluous to the review and tend to say more about the intellectual response of the reviewer than the film's themselves.

I happened to see Chabrol's "Une Partie de Plaisir" and so I was rather surprised to see what your reviewer had to offer for that film - a wooden spoon indeed! No doubt Chabrol would be delighted to have evoked this response. I found the film - one of the best I've seen - it was direct, subtle as a sledgehammer, and it had the ability to move the audience. On leaving the cinema we fell wrung out. Chabrol had played with our emotions - what was marriage all about anyway? The "crunching" of wives?

Well, Mr Wilson I'm sorry you couldn't appreciate a masterpiece. One didn't have to look at technique, colour, sound etc. One knew the film was effective from its impact in total, rather than component parts.

For the 'The Son of AMR is Dead" was self-indulgence to the core. Yes, you're right I didn't understand [unclear: it]. No, you're wrong I did try. But I do wonder why one should have to spend the duration of a film trying to unravel the intellectual knot it has tied around it before one can see the light. Subtle montages aside, I loved the colour of the Tunisian costumes against the desert quite beautiful that!

I see your other reviewer for the festival. Rod Prosser also missed the bus with "Une Partie dc Plaisir". He must have a submerged concrete walled subconscious if the film failed to reach it (in reference to his 'aside' on the subconscious).

Philistine (Christchurch).