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News and Features
August 2-9, 2006

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Letters to the Editor


COMPLEX ISSUE

THANKS SO MUCH for Laura Mattingly's powerful article about Shakespeare Behind Bars (Cover Story, July 12). As one of the artists who have worked with the William James Association to bring the life-altering experience of creativity to prisoners who want to find healthy ways to express themselves, it was a joy to read an article that honored that process. Ms. Mattingly did an excellent job of presenting a complex issue with sensitivity and integrity.

Jack Bowers, Chair of the Board of Directors, William James Association

MAKE HIM STOP

PLEASE MAKE RICHARD von Busack stop giving away the whole story in his revues. No offense but what a moron.

He gives away the story to almost every movie that he writes about.

He doesn't write reviews, he writes books. Dude, somebody already wrote the script. It seems like he enjoys listening to his own tripe.

This has nothing to do with whether I agree or not. This has to do with being able to have some sense of surprise in the theater.

Joe Grover, Felton

MISSING THE POINT

BILL FORMAN'S FILM cap on Lady in the Water (Film Caps, July 19 print edition) missed the point completely! He should do more reading and research, and he might want to review Plato's writing in The Republic about "the cave." M. Night Shyamalan's recent film is a surreal masterpiece! It does not "strain credibility" like Forman writes, rather it asks the viewer to suspend disbelief in the power of our cultural mandates to separate ourselves from each other. The movie involves a collective of people who live together yet "separated" by their individual dwellings and ethnic backgrounds. They all live in a dwelling called "THE CAVE" apartment complex with a fabulous and visually simulating swimming pool (read: Water!) The Cave apartments are presented as an allegory, not unlike Plato's writing of his dialogue "the Cave" in The Republic, and Bill Forman obviously missed the reference and important significance of this philosophical idea. Inside our cultural identities, we are all slavish bound, not unlike Plato's prisoners, to our own beliefs and dialogues about "the truth of things" in life. M. Night Shyamalan's intention is to give us a moment, a "story," about the possibilities of ending our separations, and rather, in coming together, to unite ourselves an effort to make other "realities" come forward and manifest themselves (Read: recent religious wars). Instead of Bill Forman's dismissal of this film from his sharp, lazy, and demeaning words, please ask your readers to think about opening up to a great film, a wonderful cultural expression, and a meaningful statement that takes the viewer somewhere other than the normal Hollywood "visions" offered by Clerks 2 or My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Go see this film, contrary to Bill Forman's inept criticism! See a real work of visual art!!!

Richard Shaffer, Santa Cruz


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