me to be starting out on another career
path. Even though I felt I was doing a
good job, I'm not that secure a person
that I do not question myself."
Her 2-4 p.m. time slot on KTRH is
now filled by a man-and-woman team of
"marriage, family and divorce counsellors" on a program called Guideline. Callers are asked to identify themselves by
age and a first name. The station has been
preparing the changeover since last
There is a disclaimer aired several
times daily on KTRH: "The opinions
expressed on KTRH throughout the
broadcast day are not necessarily those of
the station management or KTRH advertisers."
Not necessarily, but KTRH seems
to be working on it.
Several movie critics are offering
scripts for sale to the very producers and directors whose films they
review," claims Jeanie Kasindorf in an article published in New West and New
York magazines (March 19).
"The result is that some critics have
developed so many personal alliances that
readers of film criticism in America may
soon need a chart to tell them when a critic is reviewing a potential business partner or a best friend."
Kasindorf cites these, and several
other, examples: "At Time magazine, Jay
Cocks tried for at least two years to sell
screenplays to studio executives whose
films he was reviewing. Last year, editors
at Time left Cocks's name off a cover story on a Paramount film (Saturday Night
Fever). Cocks wrote the story the same
month he was negotiating to sell a screenplay to Paramount.
"At Newsweek magazine, Charles
Michener wrote a cover story on his
friend Robert Altman's film Nashville.
Several months later, Altman, as a wedding gift to Michener, helped pay for a
trip for Michener and his fiancee to the
Calgary, Alberta set of Buffalo Bill and
"At New West magazine, Stephen
Farber singled out his friend Philip Kaufman for praise as 'one of our most talented unknown directors' without mentioning the fact that Kaufman had helped
Farber try to sell his screenplays."
Paul Zimmerman is a former critic
who, during his five years at Newsweek,
tried to sell two screenplays. Now a screenwriter, Zimmerman admits that he suggested a screenplay to producer David
Picker while conducting a Newsweek interview. Zimmerman argues that he did
nothing wrong. "You shouldn't be forbidden from approaching people," he says.
He admits that friends talked him out of
his objection to Alan Pakula's Parallax
View. "If I didn't have a project with Pa-
kula I would have been harder to talk out
Kasindorf points out that many
film critics have abstained from reviewing
the films of people with whom they are
working. "Often this practice simply
means a critic can avoid having to pan a
future business partner's film."
So what are the answers? "Should
critics avoid all friendships with people in
the industry? Should they stop reviewing
the films of their friends? Should they
stop reviewing films the day they start
trying to sell a screenplay? If they acknowledge the connection, is it permissible to review the film of a potential
business partner? In this complicated and
incestuous world, are we to rely on the
integrity of the critic alone? If so, why?
"Until these issues are decided, film
critics will continue to tell you that the
one standard you can count on is: Trust
me. In the incestuous world of film critics
and filmmakers, they insist, they are the
ones you can count on to act with integrity."
New York movie critic David Denby
devoted his entire column the next week
to "an answer and some amplification" of
Kasindorfs investigative piece.
Unfortunately, his answer wasn't an
answer. "I find it impossible to give a definitive answer to the issues Kasindorf
raises. Yes, it would be best for critics to
stop reviewing movies as soon as they begin to market their screenplays, but if
they write their reviews with scrupulous
honesty, I see nothing inherently corrupt
in their continuing."
Nor did his "amplification" amplify
much, except his pomposity. "The job
(movie criticism) requires people with the
strength and shrewdness to avoid compromising themselves."
Denby reasons that the more harsh
a reviewer, the less the possibility of corruption. He quotes a Variety survey that
showed Paul Zimmerman the toughest of
the 26 critics rated. "While Zimmerman
was trying to sell his screenplays all over
Hollywood, he was also panning Hollywood's most commercial pictures. How
corrupt could he have been?" Jay Cock s
finished ninth in that poll, "so how corrupt could he have been?"
Denby the film critic concludes
with a romantic salute to the film critic as
screenplay writer: "A few critics do remain independent, upholding the tattered
honor of the profession, and if they were
to write screenplays, they could probably
do a lot better than the authors of most
of the movies we see now."
Which leads straight back to Kasindorfs original premise: "Trust me" says
Houston has amongst its many blessings, a mayor with the common
touch, one who "eats at exclusive
restaurants like Tony's or Rudi's, but will
be just as apt to go to McDonald's or to
Otto's Barbecue or John's Barbecue. . ."
Reporter Tom Kennedy (Houston
Post March 11) paints such a wholesome
picture of Mayor Jim McConn that one
is tempted to look for the "paid political advertisement" at the bottom of
The story, ostensibly about Doyal
LeCour and J. C. Mosier, McConn's two
bodyguards, opens "on a crisp Sunday
morning last fall" when "the reverence of
a church service was suddenly interrupted"
by LeCour's beeper.
"Tiptoeing out of the Baptist
church" LeCour reached a phone and
learned there had been a threat on the
mayor's life. LeCour says he doesn't understand why anyone would want to shoot
at a mayor who seemed to get favorable
reactions from a majority of people . . .
whether at a black-tie banquet at the
River Oaks Country Club or downing hot-
dogs at James Coney Island.
Either McConn or reporter Kennedy has a food fixation. As well as the
aforementioned Tony's, Rudi's, McDonald's, Otto's Barbecue, John's Barbecue,
River Oaks Country Club and James
Coney Island, we follow McConn and his
bodyguards to the Avalon Drug Store
(where a 12-year-old boy . . . "couldn't
believe that the mayor eats at places
where everybody else does,") and to the
Avenue Grill for breakfast with police
chief Harry Caldwell.
LeCour, who describes McConn as a
down-to-earth family man, more like a
friend than a boss, also worked as a mayoral guard for Fred Hofheinz. He recalls
that Hofheinz had many speaking engagements, but rarely stopped to eat hamburgers and barbecue at out-of-the-way
places like his successor.
The bodyguards say that McConn's
toughest questioners are elementary and
junior high school students. City Hall reporters, take note.
Breakthrough editor Gabrielle Cosgriff
has a close relationship with the English
language-she used to sell Encyclopedia
Britannica in the Australian outback.
Houston's Choice for News.
5 and 6 p.m.
The original FRESH pasta Italian Ristorante & Gourmet Salad Bar
Invites all interested in supporting the ERA amendment to come and
dine with Ms. Bette Otero, owner and manager, Sunday, April 22 thru
Thursday, April 26 and for all who so designate, the price they pay for
their dinner will be donated in support of the ERA. To accomodate
more people for this event GIGOLO's will be open from noon Sunday,
April 22 until 10 p.m. - Monday thru Thursday, 6-11 p.m.
Last year $1500 was raised in five days and hundreds were turned
away. So, in order to make this year's drive even more successful, I ask
that as soon as you have finished dining, please relinquish your table
so that more may be served. Lingering and visiting with friends pre-,
vented hundreds from being served and consequently, less money was
raised than could have been for this worthy cause.
Please call 783-1053 for reservations as early as possible!
Yours in Sisterhood,
P.S. For other occasions, I invite all women's groups and organizations
to call for special rates for dining at GIGOLO's or for catering (of any
types of food). Special arrangements can be made for luncheons also, as
we are normally open only evenings, seven nights a week.
after 3 p.m.