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Martin Scorsese and Michael Govan to share stage and talk film future at LACMA

December 29, 2009 |  1:47 pm


This past summer, filmmaker Martin Scorsese swooped in at the eleventh hour to help save the weekend film program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which was in jeopardy of being shuttered.

While local film aficionados had mobilized to fight the possible closure, it was Scorsese's open letter to LACMA, published in The Times in August, that put a spotlight on the issue.

Now, in the spirit of detente, Scorsese will appear at the museum next month, according to our sister blog Culture Monster. On Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in LACMA's Bing Theater, the director will join museum director Michael Govan in a public conversation about the role of film at museums. 

The event, which will cost $10 for LACMA members and $12 for the general public, "will touch on the importance of film preservation and the key role that film should play in a museum or cultural institution," the museum said in a statement.

Scorsese's letter prompted the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. to donate $75,000 to save the film program, and Time Warner Cable and Ovation TV donated an additional $75,000 that will allow the program to run until the end of June (the HFPA, which hosts the Golden Globes, will be giving Scorsese its lifetime achievement award on Jan. 17).

But the future of the LACMA film program remains to be seen. Govan, who is seeking to increase the program's annual budget by about $150,000 and raise a $5-million endowment, met with Scorsese at the director's home this summer to discuss how the filmmaker could help find potential donors in Hollywood.

No word yet on whether or not Scorsese himself will reach for his hip and contribute to the efforts, though he's long been an advocate for film preservation. In 1990, he and nine other filmmakers, including Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg, joined forces to form The Film Foundation, which helps to preserve and restore archives of old films.

-- Amy Kaufman

Photo: Martin Scorsese. Credit Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press 

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