Letters to the Editor

From the week of February 8, 2001

Take, for example, Jean Oppenheimer's February 1 review of Malena, "Misguided Passions." It wasn't simply that I enjoyed the film immensely and that the critic didn't. To my mind, Oppenheimer missed so much of the symbolism, so much of the plot, that she didn't give her readers a fair analysis of the movie!

In reply to her review: It wasn't a comedy -- but there were some funny moments, because even in tragedy there is comedy. Uncomfortable moments were intentional: The behavior of the Sicilian villagers was a reflection of human nature, albeit more intense. Which of us women hasn't felt envious of a beautiful woman? Which of you men hasn't leered at a beautiful woman passing? And remember, this story was based in Sicily, in a village in the 1940s, under Mussolini! Malena's silence and her father's deafness were symbols of the prevailing attitudes in the face of the rise of fascism and the subsequent collaboration with, or resignation before, the Germans.

The villagers' behavior, apart from being normal in such a location, was also a result of the war and their mixed emotions in such a crisis. Maybe Guiseppe Tornatore didn't allow us to hear Malena speak because he is telling us that we must not judge on appearances. Maybe she wasn't intelligent or witty or kind, but that doesn't matter. She was simply different -- like the Jews and the disabled who were condemned by Hitler's regime. The director couldn't have given Malena a strong female role, as those roles simply didn't exist then, when women's choices were severely limited.

Tornatore made a beautiful film, visually. But more than that, he set out to make his audience think. That may not be a popular approach these days, but it works for some of us. I would urge your readers to go and see it.

Sandra Creemers
Denver


An Open-and-Shut-Up Case

Last but not yeast: Enough about the Biscuit! I've never understood what Kyle Wagner saw in that place, and am still shocked that she gave it an award for Best New Restaurant in last year's edition of the Best of Denver. And it's even worse to read that all the time and money Sean Kelly put into the Biscuit may have contributed to his decision to close Aubergine (The Bite, February 1). That's a real loss to Denver diners. Aubergine was one of those treasures that you think you've discovered all on your own -- although when you took one look at the number of people who crowded into the place, you knew that couldn't be the case.

Best of luck to Sean Kelly. Let's hope he brings Aubergine back soon.

J.T. O'Hare
Denver


Drawing the Line

Street dreams: You have one the country's best food/restaurant writers in Kyle Wagner, and it's a blessing for us readers. But to restore credibility to Westword's restaurant listings, can't you find a local person and proofreader to make the categories accurate?

At present, it looks as if no one at Westword a) knows where an address is, or else b) knows and doesn't give a damn. How, for example, can 730 South University be "Southeast Denver" while 1028 South Gaylord jumps into "Southwest Denver"? How can Jerusalem, at 1890 East Evans, be "Southwest Denver" while Damascus, at 2276 South Colorado -- just south of Evans -- is "Southeast"?

Also, 1487 South Pearl sure ain't "Southwest," as Westword has always had it, nor is a Thai place five blocks east of Broadway similarly "Southwest."

Just some random examples. It's not worthy of Westword to be so careless.

Judy Hull
Denver


Hardcore Facts

There's always room for Jello: This is for Eric Peterson, who wrote the February 1 Critic's Choice:

Sorry, son. The Dead Kennedys' lead man, Jello Biafra (aka Eric Boucheau of Boulder), did not come out of the New York/DC hardcore scene like Discord recording artist Bad Brains. The Dead Kennedys have always been from the San Francisco hardcore scene -- as eclectic as the entire Ohio scene was.

Get it right, not wrong. Ciao.

Patrick D'Annunzio
Denver

Editor's note: Have you been to Aurora lately? How about the Denver Tech Center? In dividing the metropolitan area, we gave considerable thought not just to geography, but also to the concentration of restaurants. And all of your questions are easily answered by referring to the geographic explanation at the start of the Cafe listings: We use University Boulevard as an east-west dividing line.

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