Mad over ‘Mad Songs’

Twice in the past few weeks film critic Christine Sturmey has implied that «The Mad Songs of Fernando Hussein» was not given a prize at the Thessaloniki Film Festival, has not won entrance at many American festivals, and has no commercial distribution due to its political stance. That stance was to show the opposition to the Gulf War in America. Your critic neglects to mention the film is nearly three hours long, has terrible acting, poor sound quality, indifferent cinematography, and its various scenarios are dubious. I have been an editor of Cineaste film quarterly, America’s leading magazine on the arts and politics of the cinema for over 30 years, and I feel European readers ought to know that independent films of this type rarely get commercial distribution and I can think of no independent film of that length ever getting commercial release. Your critic is free to express her views, to be sure, but it is lamentable that she challenges the integrity of a festival jury headed by the prestigious director John Boorman and including highly respected Greek intellectuals such as Soti Triantafylou. Editor replies: Ms Sturmey mentioned the length of the film as being a negative factor. Her comments were not aimed at challenging the integrity of the jury, nor should any opinion on a film suggest that.