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Mail: Week of Nov. 5, 1999

Women want “Fight Club” again; men want more Edward Norton

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There’s nothing better than a good Fight to create a stir, and our story on the new Brad Pitt-Edward Norton bash-fest did just that (#507, Oct. 15). ”I was thoroughly disgusted by your cover,” rails Cheryl Asci of Hooksett, N.H., about our photo of the bruised stars and a cigarette dangling from Pitt’s lips. ”Ever stop to consider the message you’d be sending millions of young girls who idolize Pitt?” Not to be beaten to the punch, Karen Brown of Raleigh, N.C., writes, ”Aren’t cigarette ads usually on the back cover?” Other readers had an earful to say about Owen Gleiberman’s review of Random Hearts. ”Your fixation on Harrison Ford’s earring is bizarre,” notes Bill Weeden of New York. ”Men are wearing them from Maine to Oregon.”

Boxing day

Benjamin Svetkey’s article on Fight Club was just enough to tantalize without revealing anything important about the plot of the movie (good for him). On the cover Brad Pitt stands out with the words ”Fight Club” printed literally on top of him. Edward Norton, the true star of the film, is crammed into the background looking sinister. Why? Norton is not only the star but, in my opinion, the better actor (although Pitt was fantastic too). You people are just not giving Edward Norton the attention he deserves on this one.

Katherine Kates; kckates@chesapeake.net; Dunkirk, Md.

As an avid film fan I applaud people like David Fincher for pushing the envelope and challenging people to look at a film beyond the violence. But every time I read a story like this, there is always one person involved who takes things too far. I am referring to Art Linson’s statement that ”Spielberg’s movie [Saving Private Ryan] is the one bordering on irresponsible, with all those limbs flying around on the beach.” I am sorry to inform Mr. Linson, but Spielberg was trying to interpret what might be the most defining and important moments in American history this century. I am pretty sure Mr. Spielberg was aware of the effect of this violence in today’s society and the importance of telling this remarkable story. I hope the makers of Fight Club realize the importance of their work yet also recognize that they are just a small part of many people doing excellent work in the film industry.

Christopher Affie; sonic_8@hotmail.com; East Haven, Conn.

Having just reread your article on Fight Club, I felt a huge need to write. The article focuses on how the male population may react to the film but doesn’t mention anything about what females may think. I went to see the film the night it opened with a girlfriend because our husbands had no desire to see the film. We were the only two females in the room not accompanied by a male; and no, we did not go just to see Brad Pitt. We wanted to see a good movie. We sat transfixed for two and a half hours. We laughed; yes, we thought some of it was hysterically funny, and we were horrified at the same time. Most of all, we left the theater thinking it was the most disturbing, compelling, and violent film we had ever seen, and we couldn’t wait to see it again. Surprised? Yes, some Neanderthal men may react in a negative way and go out to start their own fight club, but for the women out there, see this movie! It will make you think.

Joni Howard; jparty@msn.com; Conyers, Ga.

Oscar grousing

Dave Karger must need a vacation. When he uses words like ”Oscar nomination,” ”great,” ”loved,” and ”Three Kings” all in the same paragraph, he is obviously working too hard (”Award Zone”). Either that, or I saw a different Three Kings. The one I saw, to sum it up, stank.

Jennifer Groh; North Bellmore, N.Y.

Your Oscar watch article neglected to mention that Emily Watson will be picking up the Best Actress statuette for Angela’s Ashes. Hmmm, your reporting is usually so thorough….

Tom McAndrew; tommca@interlog.com; Toronto

Lobe-trotting

I just wanted to make sure that Owen Gleiberman knew the earring Harrison Ford wears in Random Hearts was not just a movie prop; he’s had his ear pierced for a few years now. Not only does it make him even more sexy, I think it was perfect for the character he was playing.

Danielle T.; Santa Ana, Calif.

Tress reduction

Ken Tucker, you are my hero! Thanks a million for your wonderful review of Felicity (”Curl, Interrupted”). Finally, someone can admit that Keri Russell, Scott Speedman, and Co. are more than a group of sullen, pretty faces. I’ve exhausted myself, trying to no avail to convince people to give Felicity a try. This is a wonderfully written, exceptionally acted program that isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself. Sure, it’s mellow drama, but with a twist. Note to all you Creekers: Turn in your paddles and turn on Felicity. Oh, and as far as Ms. Russell’s new ‘do is concerned: I think it’s fresh, gutsy, and sexy.

Natalya Brown; Toronto

What was Keri Russell thinking (”Coif Medicine”)? Her cuteness level has dropped 10 notches. This is the worst haircutting disaster since Liv Tyler did away with her mane. Bring on the hair extensions! Julie Gottlieb; jegottlieb@yahoo.com; Cincinnati

Teen fact and fiction

All teen books haven’t been ”cute and lightweight” (”No Kidding”). Since S.E. Hinton introduced the Socs and greasers in what has long been considered one of the first realistic young-adult novels, The Outsiders, many young-adult authors (Robert Cormier, Walter Dean Myers, M.E. Kerr, and Norma Fox Mazer, to name a few) have exposed their intended audience to the ”grittier” side of teen life. The 19-year publishing veteran you interviewed should have mentioned this. Shame on her!

Deborah Fia; yawfia@idt.net; Bronx, N.Y.

Head of the glass

I was surprised that you didn’t mention the originator of the window studio aesthetic in ”Windows ’99.” CITY-TV and MuchMusic in Canada have used transparent studios in a central, downtown location (Toronto) and street locations since shortly after their inception. In fact, MTV’s TRL seems to be an increasingly shameless copy of MuchMusic’s long-running series Intimate & Interactive and the open, glassed-in MuchMusic environment. Far from being at the cutting edge of a new, more open way to produce television, American cable and the network news programs are merely providing pale copies.

Thomas Pratt; thomas_p_pratt@yahoo.ca; Gettysburg, Pa.