Moving Pictures
Nov 11, 2009, 06:20AM

Barry Levinson takes on Alessandra Stanley

The legendary filmmaker breaks the rules and takes a New York Times' Alessandra Stanley to task.

As I write this, I realize I am about to do something that, for the most part, is never done. I am going to criticize a critic. Filmmakers are never supposed to respond to a critic about their work. It's an unspoken rule of engagement. But in this case, I feel compelled.

  • This was on target, and Levinson has no need to apologize. Stanley's long been an embarrassment to the Times--just look at the catalog of corrections the paper has made on her stories.

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  • Eh, this is a tepid rebuttal at best, a classic case of writing too much when precision and bluntness would have so much more effect (looking back at earlier pieces of my own, I wince at my heavy-handedness). The Cronkite quote pretty facetious, but to spend half of your blog post talking about that before getting to your actual point is bad argumentative writing. If, as a filmmaker you're going to cross some colossal threshold and confront the critic, at least have the patience to make sure your counterattack is as effective as possible.

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