Producer pally: “Why aren’t you reviewing Palm Springs or Relic? Everyone wants to know which new films to watch. You’re getting wrapped up in the dark day-to-day malaise of our limited lives and it’s attracting the very worst from your snarkier readers. I love your column but your joy in reviewing good movies like The Outpost is getting trampled by the anger and bitterness of some posts.

“Your readers come for escape and inspiration. They are looking for some respite from despair. That’s what good movies can do, isn’t it? Don’t forget that part. It’s important.”

HE to producer pally: “Thanks for being a good hombre and a supportive friend. And yeah, escape and inspiration are important. People’s souls need watering but I can’t just turn on the garden hose like Mr. Greenjeans. That’s not how writing works. I have to be true to life in all its burdensome glory and the day-to-day bubble, bubble, toil and trouble AS IT IS, now how you or certain readers might want it to be. I am not a slap-happy escapist — never have been, never will be.

“I just saw Palm Springs last night. And First Cow, finally. Assembling articles as we speak. I wouldn’t watch Relic with a knife at my back.”