In yesterday’s review of Orson WellesThe Other Side of the Wind I wrote that “I can’t honestly call it a good film.” This morning a critic friend called me out for sounding namby-pamby. “You can’t honestly call it a good film?,” he wrote. “How about honestly calling it a shitty one?”

HE reply: “Because it’s hard to dismiss Welles’ final film after so much delay and difficulty on the part of his friends and colleagues to finally assemble and release it.”

Critic friend: “There’s no percentage in patting idiots on the head, as an old mentor used to say. The road to hell is paved with the best intentions.”

HE reply: “The Other Side of the Wind wasn’t made by an idiot. It was made by a man who had lost his compass.”

Critic friend: “I’m talking about the idiots who tried to salvage this film and give it meaning. He was absolutely a man who lost his compass, so what is the point of putting a spotlight on the product of that degraded talent? It’s like trying to revive late-era Tennessee Williams in an effort to find quality where there really is only confusion.”

Suitably chastised, I changed the opening of paragraph #2 to read as follows: “It’s not a good film. Any film that makes you say ‘wait…what’s happening?’ or “’what was that line?’ over and over is doing something wrong.”