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October 13, 1981

Vassar filmmaker Ralph Arlyck’s An Acquired Taste (1981) was shown in Avery Hall. “The ‘taste’ referred to in the title,” said a reviewer in The Miscellany News, “is the taste for success, which Arlyck calls, ‘that obsession with making it built so deeply into the culture we an barely distinguish it from working, loving, eating or any of life’s principle activities…. Among the scenes which were filmed at Vassar are a frisbee match between Vassar and Columbia, an exam in Rockefeller 201 and a faculty football game. Arlyck says his film is ‘no sociological documentary’….This journey winds through slogans, advertisements, competitive sports, dreams and awards. It is, according to Arlyck, ‘a whimsical peek just behind the smil of self-congratulation at the genuine fear it masks.’” The wry and very personal look at American urgencies from the vantage point of a 40-year old filmmaker won First Prize and a Silver Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

An Acquired Taste,” wrote New York Times film critic Vincent Canby, “is only 26 minutes long, but it is a feature-length delight…a loving, funny movie.”

The Years