Readers react: Is ‘The Great American Novel’ debate finally resolved?
Regarding “The Great American Novel Revisited” [July 3]. The Times book editor Carolyn Kellogg recently asked several critics to opine on “The Great American Novel.” Clearly, this is an exercise in subjectivity and a matter of personal taste. That being said, “The Great American Novel” is indubitably Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man.” This is an incontrovertible fact, a universal truth. Anyone who disagrees with me is wrong.
No ovation for ‘Ovation’
About the only thing that Katie Walsh gets correct in her review of the movie “Ovation” [“The Best Drama Is All Backstage,” July 8], is that Tanna Frederick is a very, very good actor. Frederick is almost always the best thing in any of writer/director Henry Jaglom’s various (and way too many) projects. Frederick needs to stop being Mr. Jaglom’s muse for a while. Otherwise she is doomed to die a slow creative death.
The film wasn’t great, but why so harsh?
Why so harshly criticize “The Secret Life of Pets,” a simple movie about animals and their owners? Yes, I agree it wasn’t that great of a movie, didn’t have much creativity to it. But to say some of the stuff you said in your review was almost like you were upset with it.
An incomplete list of war films
Why is it that every time there is an article on Vietnam War films [“Searing Portraits of the Vietnam War,” July 10], the same half dozen films are listed. Never is the one that really told the story of the ground forces: “84 Charlie Mopic.” Released in 1989, this film is told from the point of view of a camera team following an Army unit. It is very personal, gripping and extremely underrated. If anyone wants to see it, it is on YouTube. See it for yourself and you will agree with me that this little indie film should be included as one of the best Vietnam War films.
Having been there (1969) and having seen all those films, I think you left out the one film I feel best captured the war: “Go Tell the Spartans.”
Ballerina may be overrated
Regarding: “‘Firebird’ in a Cage: The Reimagined Ballet Mutes Misty Copeland’s Dazzle” [July 11]. Maybe choreographer Alexei Ratmansky kept Misty Copeland “offstage” because she is not the talent everyone thinks she is. She has neither the body nor the moves for classical ballet. She is a self-promoted mediocre dancer.
Brian Wilson revisited
Regarding “A Growth Spurt for the Beach Boys: Brian Wilson Revisits ‘Pet Sounds’ ” [July 9]. Great interview of a musical genius. As a performer touring the U.S. and Canada, working with a partial cast of Eastern Europeans, I discovered the international bridge and appeal of the Beach Boys by the Russian boys who loved the “Beechingk boyz”.
Above the fold headline over the top
Regarding “Why Are Second Films so Hard to Get Going for Women and Directors of Color?” [July 10]. Anxiety is high from terrorism, genocide, racism, drug abuse, crime and the economy. However, I gratefully wake up each day for quiet time with my beloved Los Angeles Times. Please don’t yell at me with 100-point font across the entire half above the fold. For that level of hysteria, I can listen to talk radio.
Lessons from a documentary
Regarding “At the Movies: Capsule Reviews” July 8. The documentary movie “At the Fork” sounds like one of the classes we teach new zoo docents so they can impart to the public all sides of a complex subject: the most sustainable choices and the importance of good health and humane care and welfare of the animals that serve us by feeding us.
Docent, Los Angeles Zoo
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