Fry should read the critics : LETTER

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The Independent Online
STEPHEN Fry may have a brain the size of Kent or California (`Forever English', 12 February) but his dismissive comments about critics suggest that he needs to use it a little more before passing judgement.

Fry is a comic genius, up there with Hancock and Cleese, but to say of critics that there is nothing worse that human beings can be is to take the side of rich and successful media stars and to give two fingers to those of us who try to make sense of it all.

Unfortunately for Fry his views were made to look daft in the extreme by the presence of a David Thomson article in the same issue of the Review. Thomson does everything that we could ask of a critic; he gives us insight, background, enthusiasm and opinions which are so obviously there for us to accept or, with a chuckle, reject.

People like me who are not active participants in the film world need critics to help us form our own opinions; they are on our side even if not always on the side of the stars.

Maybe Stephen Fry would benefit from reading some really great film criticism - let us hope Thomson reviews his latest film - but sadly it seems that Fry will not have the pleasure of reading it.

Hugh Chignell

Department of Humanities

Weymouth College, Dorset