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Boston-area arts letters and comments

The Kobal Collection

Lancaster lore

The best thing in the Globe on Sunday was Mark Feeney’s appreciation of Burt Lancaster (“Catching a wave,” SundayArts, July 14). Spot on! One of the pleasures of being 72 and retirement is revisiting films I saw so much earlier in my life. Can you imagine what I made of “Sweet Smell of Success” when I was a teenager? I’ve watched “The Leopard” twice in the last three years, and I could watch it again today. Netflix is great. (How else could I have honored my childhood favorite Esther Williams a few weeks ago?) I’ll be ordering some Lancaster films today. I love the things Feeney writes. One quarrel only with the article: “prancing” in “The Crimson Pirate”? I saw that film when I was 11 and remember it still. It’s not prancing when you can almost smell the sweat.


North Andover

‘Newsroom’ double take

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I loved Matthew Gilbert’s dueling capsule reviews of “The Newsroom” (Critic’s Corner, g, July 12). I wholeheartedly agree. I love Aaron Sorkin, yet he is maddening. And why does he have so many Notre Dame story lines? President Bartlet on “The West Wing.” The “Rudy” episode last year on “The Newsroom.” The man went to Syracuse. Must be the mushrooms.



Is Gilbert really of two minds about “The Newsroom,” or did he change his mind and not tell the editor?


Farmington, Conn.

Before I got to Gilbert’s second paragraph I was surprised and relieved . . . and then the reality. I respect the “Newsroom” actors and the topics are timely, but the writing last season was so self-consciously fast and fake witty, smug, and “hey, look at me.” The interpersonal stuff was truly juvenile, seventh-grade level. I’ve lived and worked with seventh-graders, whose dialogue is hyper and shouted. Just visit during a change of class. (In a good middle school, the adults help them tone it down.)



Failing upward

I enjoyed Jesse Singal’s Game On column “What’s so fun about failure?” (SundayArts, July 14), but thought there was something wrong about the premise. Then I got my “aha” moment. It isn’t the failure that is fun. It is the stimulation of the creativity of the player to solve the problem that is fun. We are a creative people, and creativity is fun, whether in games, art, science, business, or just life’s problems. Appeal to that creativity in our children in schools, and most children will learn better.



Daydream believer

I’m writing regarding Geoff Edgers’s History Repeating piece on the Monkees (“He’s still a believer,” Sunday Arts, July 14). The Pre-fab Four’s continuing exclusion from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a crime against humanity. And famously, they outsold the Beatles and the Stones in ’67. Their catalogue stands up with almost anyone’s from that era.


Fairfield, Maine

A Foster fan

Thanks for Don Aucoin’s great review of Sutton Foster’s performance in Provincetown (“A candid and winning night with Sutton Foster,” g, July 8). I saw her in “Anything Goes” in 2011, early in the show’s run, and loved it, as did the rest of the audience, who gave her and the rest of the cast a sustained standing ovation! I hope to see her again. Perhaps you can pass my applause along to her!


Newton Centre

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