Ronald Kerr
via Internet

Metaphorical Maligning
Just when old largely maligned Peter Rainer actually finds value in a wonderful movie like Titanic [Film, "Schlock Poetry," December 18], along comes Thomas Smith to remind us that film trashing truly is a spectator sport [Letters, "Waterlogged Metaphor," January 15]. Smith sure confuses movies with metaphors (or something in between). You know the type -- a jaded Roman in the Coliseum, screaming at the lions to maul and munch harder on hapless Christians.

Actually, I've been waiting for at least an intelligent riposte concerning James Cameron's film. So far, almost every critic of worth has found Titanic to be quite remarkable. (The New Yorker sure has been pandering to Hollywood for years, hasn't it, Tom?) Unfortunately, Smith ends up loving his images and sense of drowning more than he elucidates any real objections. According to Smith's implied standards, we might find Casablanca to be similar melodramatic trash. Unfortunately (for Smith), the public, for some strange reason, has been flocking to this film in a manner not seen since the days of Gone with the Wind.

At least Rainer backs up his points, even at his most aggravating. Enough, Smith: Back to your bathtub, kazoo and rubber duckie!

Peter S. Lunde
via Internet

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