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Film Comment (1973) - Letters




  • This was, in fact, Robin Wood using a pseudonym to respond to an article he had written using a different pseudonym(!)


To the Editor:

With maximal interest have I read Herr [George] Kaplan's comments on [Robin] Wood ["Alfred Hitchcock: Lost in the Wood," Film Comment, November‑December 1972]. Only would I regret that he write only concerning the Hitchcock book. Being Swedish I am especial interesting of Bergman, and wish to add my say that Kaplan's commitments can be applicated to Wood on Bergman also.

You will not wish that I engage much of your space, and so restrict I myself to a single exempel. If one will Studie with attention Wood's treatings on the opening (pre‑credits) of persona, will one find perfekt exempel of what Kaplan designates Wood's "double‑think." Wood cannot accept his idol to be guilty of meaningless rhetorik and audience-bullying, yet cannot he convince that Bergman here acheive anything other, by his labored explications. But in my experience all critiks sparing Rupert Rathcoe seem intimidated by the willfull obscurity of this sequens.

Permit me one word till. Wood's way may be, as Kaplan says us, to make afraid the reader to disagree with a haughty manner. But to his defens let us add that he never display bad manners such as Herr [John] Simon, who infers us in last issue ["lngmar Bergman," September/October 1972] that Herr [Andrew] Sarris "vegetate, soak up trivia, and concoct addled theories about it," only because Sarris like American cinema and commit some thoughts on Bergman which could provoke critiks like Wood and Simon to new thinkings. If one wish to attack against Bergman, to say us of "undigested clinical material" seems most pertinent, and I ask myself has Herr Simon permitted himself to understand the point of Sarris here.

Beseeching excuses for my faults in your language,

Sincerely yours,

(Dr.) Cornelius Spegel