Not So Heavenly
After reading Matt Zoller Seitz's review of Heavenly Creatures [Film, "Friends and Fantasy," December 1], I thought I understood the Press's decision to replace Houston local David Theis with a Dallas reviewer.

Seitz's descriptions and analysis were a pleasure to read and convincing. But the film does not live up to his review -- the pieces are there, but the sum of the parts is disappointing. Director Peter Jackson may be a practiced craftsman, but he is not the "skilled storyteller" Seitz lauds him as. A portrayal of a love so intense and deep as to foment matricide ultimately comes across as an ill-starred crush between two neurotic school girls.

How could such a powerful and complex story not evoke pathos? This is a question that Seitz does not even ask. Besides overlooking basic flaws, Seitz is overly impressed with the aspects he does consider. His marquee-quotable acclamations ring empty; his praise of the lame depiction of the girls' shared fantasy world is particularly questionable.

Perhaps Seitz was so focused on displaying his formidable skill with prose that he didn't notice that his subject matter was not worthy of his fine words. Matt Zoller Seitz's review is so given to gushing admiration, I just wonder what he will do with a really good movie. I'll probably miss it, because I don't trust his judgment anymore.

Ivan Scheffler

That Hobgoblin Consistency
The humbuggered comments re the Alley's production of A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas on page 24 of your December 8 issue [Thrills] are certainly uncorrupted by accuracy!

The Alley's Christmas production was called A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas last year; it was called A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas in 1992; it was called A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas in 1991.

Dickens called it A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas when he wrote it. Remember Dickens? He's the guy Washington's Newt wants to bring back!

Gregory Boyd
A Christmas Expert and Artistic Director
Alley Theatre

No Cash for Camels!
The churches are renting animals for Christmas tableaux [News, "Humping to Please," by Edith Sorenson, December 8]. And there are children in Houston with insufficient clothing, and elderly and afflicted without medical care, without friends. Just to mention a few. And think! What $150 could do for a needy family. School supplies. Shoes....

How do you suppose churches reconcile renting camels and the directions in our Bible, the teachings of Jesus Christ? Does anyone remember what happens when you let a camel in your tent?

Martha Failing


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