Battle Royale schill
Thu Jan 11 09:15:44 EST 2001

A short reply to Aaron's short reply:

Aaron said:

>I, like many moviegoers, do not watch films as single >texts.  They are
always linked to other films that are in >the same genre, that treat the
same theme,  that have >been made by the same director, etc.

I do too, but I try, not always successfully, to avoid giving a director a
critical "pass" simply because I liked his work in the past. That's what I
mean by "evaluating each film on its own merits." I do not mean "avoiding
comparisons with other films," as anyone who has read my reviews knows.
This, I think, should be SOP but, as the Kinejun poll reveals, too often in
Japan is not.

Aaron also said:

"I think we just need to remain flexible and fluid."

I agree, but I think a film critic also has to write from a moral and
emotional core. To do otherwise is to cheat the reader, particularly the
reader of a mass circulation newspaper or magazine, who does not want to be
educated so much as get a trustworthy opinion on whether or not to invest
two hours and Y1,800 on a film. And the reader can only trust me if I tell
the truth without, as the Japan Times puts it so well, "fear or favor."

Mark Schilling

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