By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
And the winner of the booby prize for the best boo-boo 'bout a boob-flick goes to ... Edith Sorenson!
Okay, actually, Sorenson didn't do a bad job of reviewing a cult film she didn't like as much as I [Film, "Best of the Breast," June 8]. But as a fan of Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, I've got to call her on an egregious error. The character of Varla does not make a snide comment about the impromptu dancing of Billie; that comment comes from Rosie. And Rosie's complaint is hardly "for some unfathomable reason"; events up to that moment have left her rather cheesed off at Billie. Consider what leads up to the exchange: (1) Billie takes off on a joyride and obliges partners Varla and Rosie to follow; (2) when Billie goes for a swim, Rosie is forced (by Varla) to "go get her"; and (3) as a gesture to keep both women in line, Varla forces them to meet her in a game of "chicken," which both lose. With all that coming down on her, I believe Rosie might be justifiably put out at Billie, and ready to carp about anything she said or did.
I don't agree that "much of the dialogue seems to have been written as an afterthought," and I don't see that Sorenson manages to prove it. I contrast her views with those expressed by the writers of Research: Incredibly Strange Films, who note that "the dialogue rings in the ear like beat poetry." I'd love to go into detail about how Sorenson misread the nuances of the demonic Varla, or the true meaning of the train metaphor, but I've just about exhausted this forum. A really incisive evaluation of Russ Meyer, I will note, would not depend on pigeonholing him as either a proto-feminist or a simple purveyor of "tight clothes and big tits." But I did get one good thing out of Sorenson's review: I will be checking out the work of B. Ruby Rich to see what she had to say.
It's a conspiracy, I tell you! When I left for my first year of college on September 1, 1994, everything was right with the world (well, at least with the city ... well, at least with the newspapers of the city). Now, nine months later, I return to the city I grew up in, and what has happened? One of the largest cities in the nation only has one major daily newspaper -- a trend started in Dallas, and, regretfully, is continuing here. I didn't mind, really -- music and movie coverage in the Post was the only redeeming quality I could find in it. But after reading "Deano's Disclosure" [News, by Tim Fleck and Jim Simmon, June 1], Houston's got to wonder what else is going on beneath the surface.
The thing that got my attention was Lanier's comment about how "it (the Post's closing) will make things a lot easier for me." I'm not quite sure what this means, but it isn't good. Singleton is apparently a product of the '80s, when it was big business and get out of my way, you private citizens you. This guy is the stereotypical bad guy ripped right from thousands of B movies. Rather than sell the paper to someone willing to invest the time and money to improve a lousy product (Drayton McLane comes to mind, for lack of a better example), the guy shut it down in a hush-hush deal, leaving a whole heckuva lot of people jobless. He obviously doesn't care, and the Chronicle certainly isn't going to make him look like the bad guy he is. I hope you will get to the bottom of this -- I'm sure some part of his little scam was less than legal.
I applaud you -- as should every other Houstonian, I think -- for taking the time and sneakiness it took to get this story. This is how journalism should be handled -- getting the important news, not latching on to the ButtafuocoMenendezHardingBobbitSimpson of the moment. I hope you will continue to do so, and as you do, I hope you can rise to be the Chronicle competitor the Post was, if not better. I look forward to the day I can pick up a daily copy in my front yard. It is not, after all, too far-fetched -- Austin's Daily Texan, the daily University of Texas publication, is the second largest newspaper in the city, competing on the same level with Austin's major daily. I never read the Dallas Morning News until nine months ago, but as a journalism student, I recognize inferiority when I see it. If the same should happen to the Chronicle, or even if it doesn't, I hope you can rise to the challenge. Pardon the pun, but I hope you'll keep your readers posted.
Editor's note: Thanks, but we prefer to think of ourselves as "enterprising" rather than "sneaky."
(Absolutely) Last Word on KPFT
Well, I guess it is probably up to me to give the final word and try to clear up some of the details regarding the latest KPFT controversy [News, "Music of (Angry) India," by Jim Sherman, April 27]. For the past 15 years I produced and hosted the "Shepherd's Hey" program of traditional British Isles music, history and folklore on Tuesday night. Thanks to many wonderful listeners over the years, the program was the most successful evening fundraiser for this supposedly listener-sponsored community radio station.