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Letters to the Arts Editor

Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

Mary Cybulski/Fox Searchlight Pictures via AP

Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

The value of a critic’s tip

Ty Burr, the Boston Globe movie critic, is occasionally harsh and always demanding. Sometimes I agree and often I do not. But he really nailed it in his early July review of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a wonderful, mythic film from first-time filmmakers (“ ‘Wild’ child,” g, July 6). Here is what he said: “They’re working at something harder and more holy: the poetry of existence burned directly onto film. To come from the summer’s dull superhero juggernauts into this movie is to rediscover the creative fires of youth and the passion of people truly alive to what they see.”

Two unusual film critics, Oprah and President Obama, said, “It is magical realism brought to the screen” and “It captivated,” respectively.

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Now, despite Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe snubs, “Beasts . . .” has been nominated for four Academy Awards, including best director, best picture, and best actress (now 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis).

Thank you for your early warning that this was a film not to be missed, Mr. Burr.



Red-penciled, figuratively

Geoff Edgers begins an article on his reality show “Edge of America” by evoking one of his extreme adventures (“Road warrior,” Arts, Jan. 13). “I am standing in the alligator pit. This is not a euphemism.” No, it’s not a euphemism, nor a bicycle nor a birdcage. A euphemism is the substitution of an agreeable expression for an offensive or disagreeable one. There aren’t many things more disagreeable than standing in an alligator pit. We readers look to the Globe not only for information and insight, but for clarity and precision of language.



Jazz fans are readers, too

In response to the letter stating that there was no “Year in Arts” for jazz, this is nothing new (Arts letters, Jan. 13). There hasn’t been one for years, just as there hasn’t been a dedicated jazz writer for the newspaper. The last jazz critic, no longer with the Globe, was Steve Greenlee, and he wrote more articles about beer than he did jazz. The lack of jazz concert reviews is reflective that the coverage is spotty at best, yet there is an audience that fills the clubs on a weekly basis. This is a disservice to the community that has deep jazz roots.



Letters for publication should include the writer’s name, address, and daytime phone number for verification. All letters are subject to editing. Send to

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