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Paging Michael Govan: Please respond to Save Film at LACMA

August 14, 2009 |  3:14 pm


They've written e-mails. They've organized a petition. They even got the attention of director Martin Scorsese, who has sent a letter to LACMA protesting the decision to shutter the museum's weekend film program.

But so far, LACMA has been mostly silent.

The founders of Save Film at LACMA, which is spearheading the campaign to restore the film program, said that the museum has yet to respond to Scorsese's open letter.

"We wonder about the meaning of LACMA's silence," the group said in a statement issued today. "Given the outpouring of dismay over the cancellation, LACMA owes it to our community to engage in open, honest, civic dialogue. " 

Save FIlm at LACMA said that the museum has corresponded with them, but that "so far we’ve seen form letters and boilerplates filled with double-speak... Damage control is not enough. We demand to know what the museum's intentions are for the film program."   

Michael Govan, LACMA's director, has agreed to sit down with the group at  a Sept. 1 summit, during which they will discuss possible ways to reverse the museum's decision.

The museum has stated that Govan is currently on vacation and hasn't had an opportunity to formally respond to Scorsese.

On Wednesday, The Times published Scorsese's letter in which the Oscar-winning director described LACMA's actions as "a serious rebuke to film within the context of the art world."

-- David Ng

Related coverage

Los Angeles County Museum of Art cancels its weekend film program

Martin Scorsese: An open letter to Michael Govan and LACMA

Photo: James Mason and Judy Garland in "A Star is Born," which recently screened at LACMA. Credit: Warner Bros.

Comments () | Archives (4)

The problem - among many - with Los Angeles is there are a lot of loud-mouth activists who want to preserve every building or, in this case, a relatively inexpensive film program. Many of these people are wealthy and/or famous, but what Michael Govan has learned, they are a bunch of cheap SOBs who are unwilling to put their money where their mouths are. If Martin "New York" Scorsese is SO interested in saving the LACMA film program, why doesn't he contribute $1 million? George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have no problem giving USC $200 million for a film school. Where are they? Unless the activists come with some solutions that include their money, their point of view is rather meaningless.

Too bad Scorsese and all of the other Hollywood millionaires didn't put their money were their mouths are sooner. It's pathetic. Considering how much money is in this town, and how little LACMA and other arts institutions receive is pathetic. How about these whiners step up and deliver for once. Instead of petitioning LACMA, how about petitioning all of the A level actors/actresses/directors and the film studios for funding!

LACMA is in the midst of a $450 million transformation. It has the money. The audiences are there--sold out last weekend for a three-hour documentary on Jews in France and a very packed house last night for a 1950s, black-and-white French film. This is a question of its priorities.

Like a star in the sky.

That shining
star reappears
like a final
touch near a
vigorous cliff;
and always
remains, with
a little intention
in the care
of your sight.

Francesco Sinibaldi


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