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A majestic ‘Tapestry’ and a ‘Cinderella’ worth revisiting

Carole King sits next to a window, with a cat.
Carole King’s landmark album “Tapestry” marked its 50th anniversary this year.
(Jim McCrary / Redferns)

An album for the ages

Mikael Wood’s story about the making of “Tapestry” [“Woven in Time,” Feb. 7] was fascinating to someone who as a college freshman listened to the album dozens if not hundreds of times.

“Tapestry” helped get me through a homesick and lonely first year of college. I loved the lyrics, the music, all of it. I sang along with Carole [King] and felt every emotion she was expressing.

Thank you for telling the story of this very powerful album and the talented artist who created it — along with the other musicians and professionals who made it happen.

The Calendar section is a jewel in the crown of the Los Angeles Times.

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Linda Randolph
Los Angeles

Revisiting a classic

I loved Ashley Lee’s commentary on “Cinderella” [“‘Cinderella’ Spins a Magical Legacy,” Feb. 17].

I grew up watching the Lesley Ann Warren version from the 1960s. In 1997, my daughter was 5 and we watched the Brandy version. We loved it.

The critics, at the time, clearly were shortsighted and perhaps soulless. It is a better production than the 1960s version.

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Lee’s article will send me to Disney+ to watch it again. Thank you for your insightful analysis.

Terry Sauer
Pasadena

Controversy sells

In her second column about writer-director Sam Levinson’s “Malcolm & Marie” (“This Debate Is Not What He Foresaw,” Feb. 12), Mary McNamara suggests that the heated controversy the movie has sparked “may not be a good sign for the film.”

She also seems surprised (or perhaps it’s admiration?) that Levinson is willing to engage in media discussions. She has got to be kidding. You can’t buy publicity like this.

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In recent weeks, The Times has devoted nearly two full pages of text and photos to Levinson’s low-budget, two-character drama of marital conflict, including Justin Chang’s snarky, self-serving review.

Would “Malcolm & Marie” have reaped all this attention if one of its characters, a Black filmmaker, had not taken a potshot at a Calendar reviewer who was critical of Levinson’s previous film? Might one reasonably suspect that he stuck in that barb hoping to trigger this promotional windfall?

Just to alert you, my first published novel excoriates The Times. An Edgar Award winner, “Simple Justice” was recently republished in a revised, 25th-anniversary edition, with a foreword by Christopher Rice. The passage in question is brutal, probably unfair and certainly deserving of all the resentment, fury and column inches you can spare. Have at it! (Like Levinson, I also do interviews.)

John Morgan Wilson
West Hollywood

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An imported series with subtitles

Regarding Robert Lloyd’s review of “Call My Agent” [“Americans Can’t Pass Up French Treat,” Feb. 11]: My husband and I stumbled on this gem and binge watched all four seasons with glee. He is fluent in French while I happily made do with the subtitles.

After, we were hungry for more and found other imported series to watch, but were dismayed to see that most were dubbed with atrocious cartoon voices that we couldn’t bear. An example is “Lupin,” on Netflix, which suffers from very idiotic dubbing.

Why is it that whomever releases these imports thinks Americans can’t deal with subtitles?

Dubbing just ruins the delicious vibe and soul of foreign-made cinema and TV shows that could reach a new audience here in the USA.

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Cynthia Lerner
Los Angeles

Criticism or cynicism


Is anyone else tired of the cynicism as expressed in Mikael Wood’s review [“A Runaway American Dream,” Feb. 10]? I am.

There’s a hubris in finding fault for the sake of finding fault. Hope and looking for the good is not a “childish political proposition.”

Heather Brodhead
Santa Barbara

Fears of insurrection are not new

How exciting to read Charles McNulty’s recent takes on “Hamlet” [“An Ingenious Retooling of ‘Hamlet,’” Feb. 12, and “D.C. Riot? A Rotten State for U.S.,” Feb. 9] following the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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It makes perfect sense that the fear of insurrection permeates Shakespeare’s tragedy. Queen Elizabeth had been excommunicated, the Pope was encouraging priests to assassinate her and then her handsome young favorite, Lord Essex, attempts an insurrection and loses his head.

Perhaps because Jan. 6 is still so fresh in our memories, McNulty really brings this fear of insurrection to life in “Hamlet”; as a friend to Essex’s accomplice, Southampton, Shakespeare would have been very present to the fear of insurrection.

Pamela Kelly
Long Beach

Just the facts

I was surprised that The Times ran Alexander Nazaryan’s review of “Unmasked,” by Andy Ngo [“The Dishonest Case for Antifa as the Real Enemy,” Feb. 8].

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It didn’t make any difference to me as to which political position was writing it; when I read your stories, I expect to see facts to back up the positions of the writers.

In this review, in the first few paragraphs there were words like “supremely dishonest” and “pro-Trump insurrectionists” and “false flags” and “more likely” and “history of embedding.” Nazaryan seemingly was trying to crucify the author rather than giving a solid review of the book.

I would like The Times to provide us with truth and facts, but much of this review was never backed up with facts.

Col. William FH Zersen, USAF (Ret.)
Laguna Woods

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Fab four ... get it?

I was surprised that Beatles Day wasn’t mentioned in the Calendar section. You know, Feb. 4? Beatles Day!

Joe Kevany
Mount Washington

Critiquing the critics

Regarding Mary McNamara’s column [“What ‘Should’ the Role of Critics Be?” Feb. 3]: I had a cable show on public television 20-some years ago titled “Reviewing the Reviewer.” Now that was fun.

Candy Carstensen
Los Angeles

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I’m continually awed by the power of the word when in the hands of Mary McNamara. She’s thoughtful, illuminating and spot-on in her Calendar columns.

I look forward to pretty much everything she writes as I know it will give me a well-constructed perspective to either something I was somewhat familiar with or an entirely new insight into areas I’ve never explored.

Thank you for providing the reader with such top-quality writing.

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Susan M. Cuttriss
Fillmore


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