Thursday, August 27, 2009

LACMA Film Program Saved By Donations

Terrific news today regarding the film department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which was scheduled to close in the near future. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (which sponsors the Golden Globe Awards) and Time Warner Cable have each made donations which will enable the film program to continue through at least the middle of 2010.

Additionally, Time Warner and Ovation TV have pledged substantial assistance with marketing and publicity -- an area which some observers of the film program have noted needs improvement.

I haven't been very happy with Time Warner since they "upgraded" us to their awful new Navigator DVR system -- in fact, we are very likely to make the switch to Verizon TV soon precisely because of the poor performance of the DVR -- but in this instance they deserve to be commended for making an important contribution to classic films and the Southern California cultural scene.

The L.A. Times reports that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was motivated by Martin Scorsese's open letter to the museum and its head, Michael Govan. (Mr. Scorsese mentions attending screenings in the '70s when the great Ron Haver was curator...I wonder if my family was ever at the same screening with Mr. Scorsese?)

I believe the decision of the museum head, Mr. Govan, to shutter the film department of the most prominent art museum in Los Angeles, of all places...!...still needs to be seriously questioned. What were his priorities for the museum, and why? Was this a flashy ploy to achieve donations? Hmmmm.

All in all, though, very good news today.


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