Vital Signs


Jurassic Park
Produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Gerald R. Molen
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by Michael Crichton and David Koepp
Released by Universal

The Fugitive
Produced by Arnold Kopelson
Directed by Andrew Davis
Screenplay by Jeb Stuart and David Twohy
Released by Warner Brothers

Robert Warshow, one of the best critics of film we ever had (all serious moviegoers should read his collected essays, The Immediate Experience), wrote that the most difficult thing about reviewing movies is "admitting that you were there." I thought I understood that gnomic pronouncement 30 years ago when I realized, one dreary morning in a Manhattan screening room where I sat drinking coffee, nibbling on a Danish pastry, and watching Annette Funiccllo cavort in some beach party movie, that . . . I was enjoying myself. One way or another, I would have to contrive a way of admitting that.

But I have been reconsidering Warshow's reviewers' koan, because I have come to understand that it is more complicated than I thought—perhaps even more complex than he thought. The trick)' word is "there." Where? The obvious answer is in the theater (or screening room) up on the screen, where a work of art is filtering down through the enlivened motes in the air from the projectionist's...

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