Letter's of the year: At the movies

Sir: Your assorted film critics have missed the point of Star Wars and The Phantom Menace in particular. Of course they are bad "films" - but they are excellent "movies".

A "film" is some personal meditation shot in Europe by an ageing cynic or youthful firebrand. It is watched in small cinemas and earnestly discussed by clever people or people who would like to think they are clever. It loses money but takes prizes at European festivals.

A "movie" is shot in America or the UK by a professional with few pretensions to Art. It has unidimensional characters, a simple and obvious plot, predictable dialogue, lots of action and big SFX. It is watched and enjoyed by ordinary people eating popcorn and drinking cola with their brains switched off. It makes money.

Let the critics remember that just before the arrival of Star Wars, cinema was dying. Star Wars, its successors and imitators, revived family movies when even Disney could not. The result has been to allow film critics to indulge the intellectual snobbery which would have been starved of its icons if all the cinemas had finally turned into bingo halls!

May the force be with us for all for a long time yet.


Holbrooks, West Midlands

21 May