Should film critics consider moral characters of directors and actors?

Referencing Janet Burhoe-Jones’ letter [“Promotion of Roman Polanski Film Appalling,” July 30, Xpress] regarding the review of “Venus in Fur”:  Is Roman Polanski morally reprehensible? A court thought so.

Should film critics take into consideration the moral characters of directors and actors (think Woody Allen) when recommending movies?  If so, half the theaters in the country would close.

Referencing Adam DeWitte’s letter regarding the “contradictory” reviews of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “Mechagodzilla”: Not so.  Mr. Hanke didn’t say “Mechagodzilla” was OK.  He implied that both were crap artistically and said if “Mecha …” was your kind of entertainment, go for it.  No contradiction.  He didn’t like either one.
Bill Moses

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2 thoughts on “Should film critics consider moral characters of directors and actors?

  1. Ken Hanke

    Most people who get worked up about this only vaguely know the facts anyway. The anti-Polanski letter, for example, seemed to work on the premise that this little art house film was some kind of a comeback. Fact is Polanski never vanished from movie screens — and was nominated for an Oscar the year after he left the US and won an Oscar in 2003. (In fact, his 1972 sex comedy version of Alice in Wonderland, What?, was re-issued in the US right after his flight from the US as Diary of Forbidden Dreams and promoted as “the erotic fantasies of the world’s most notorious director.”) But without getting into the complexities of this — or the utter speculation on Woody Allen — the minute you start banning artists of any kind over their personal lives, you’re going to lose an awful lot of our collective culture. Richard Wagner and his anti-Semitism that helped fuel Hitler’s worldview, anyone? How about English composer John Ireland his thing for choir boys? The list is a long one.

    The reason the letter about contradictory reviews is off-base is that I never said anything about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and have never seen it. As for the Terror of Mechagodzilla, well, actually I do like it — as amusing junk.

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