Joy of movies

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DAVID THOMSON's article "A hundred years of solitude" (Review, 13 August) really depressed me. It is not that I want my movie critics to be mindless advocates for every piece of celluloid, but I would like a sense of love and passion for the potential of the medium. Instead Mr Thomson seems to have put us back in the tug of war between "real" high art and nasty commercial entertainment which is not worth analysis.

The only films he praises are either from the past or those by European "art house" directors. The only modern films mentioned are dismissed instantly and seem to be a very limited selection. If Batman Forever and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein were the only films I had ever seen, I too might have trouble justifying the medium. To understand those films in the wider context of film history and what they might represent within it is another matter altogether.

I think that contradiction is what makes Hollywood fascinating and why all films are worth analysis. I didn't particularly care for Pretty Woman myself, but I want to know why a sizable percentage of womenidentified with Julia Roberts' character, what this says about their dreams and desires and how they live in the "real" world.

If, by watching films and studying the fantasies they provide, I can understand more about the sense that people make of their lives, given the tools available, then I think it is not only enjoyable but also worthwhile.

Helen Pleasance