Re: Underscoring the importance of objective review sources

Jessica Rosner (
Mon, 20 May 2002 10:50:27 -0700 (PDT)

I know how Dennis feels. I was rather deflated when one of the big library
publications in reviewing the Women Silent Directors series referred to the
films from 1914-16 as so deteriorated that they would not recommend them.
As this had been something I had produced for Kino I took it PERSONALLY ,
especially since I knew the reviewer did NOT know much about silent films,
restoration and had watched ONLY the most problematic title BUT it is a free
country and not much I could do about it ( besides I got a NICE review in
The New York Times). I think the kind of political issue's Chip seems to
have encountered are far more delicate. I can't really read between the
lines on this so I would appreciate more info on the review in question to
make a judgement but let's face it ALL reviews are SUBJECTIVE and I ALWAYS
kid Randy about Video Librarian giving some of my FAVORITE ( non KINO) films
bad reviews while loving things I hate.
Since I firmly believe that KISS ME DEADLY is THE GREATEST FILM EVER MADE (
though NEVER to be watched on video anyway) I admit that my tastes may be a
little off the mainstream but that is what makes us all media people.
Again I empathize with Chip but short of FACTUAL errors or known prejudice
of the reviewer I don't think you can insist a publication print a response
Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

> From: > Reply-To: > Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 10:03:34 -0700 (PDT) > To: Multiple recipients of list <> > Subject: Underscoring the importance of objective review sources > > I've certainly been in Chip's place and can sympathize. Basically I agree > with him AND Gary. I think the editor does have the choice to print the > author or distributor's protest -- and should if the letter raises valid > points or provokes an interesting discussion. The New York Times Sunday Book > Review does it all the time with some fascinating results. > > In the case where there's a misquote or an incorrect statement presented as > fact (though it doesn't seem to be this case), then it definitely is the > obligation of the editor to publish a correction. > > With the latter case, my favorite misrepresentations of my films have been: > > 1) A complaint that the reviewer's tape was defective because "the colors > kept changing." (For those that don't know, most silent films were > beautifully tinted and/or toned with various colors to suggest time of day, > mood or location.) > > 2) That one of my films was presented "without vocals" and "only" had > intertitles. Though indeed factual, it's a very weird way of describing a > film that was made in 1926. > > I can complain about the reviewer's lack of historical knowledge to the > editor, but I didn't want to argue the point that they didn't especially like > the film. > > (AND if one more person calls a silent film "primitive"....) > > Dennis Doros > Milestone Film & Video > PO Box 128 > Harrington Park, NJ 07640 > Phone: (201) 767-3117 or in the US (800) 603-1104 > Fax: (201) 767-3035 > Email: > Website: