In one meeting with Martin Scorcese, the director of LACMA Michael Govan decided to change from ending most of the program in October to a full court press to save and expand it. Â Not sure if he resorted to Goodfellas tactics (which would be fine by me, whatever you gotta do to save the arts, I say) but one thing is certain, Marty makes things happen for the arts – on both coasts.
An open letter by the legend in the LA Times on August 13 precipitated the NYC tete-a-tete and resulting recommitment to the program by Govan. Not to say Scorcese had to resort to the tactics often shown in his films since one would like to think a critique from a cinematic auteur and legend would have a museum rethinking its decision to scrap a highly regarded, even if struggling, program.
The issue is this: the 40 year old weekend film program has been losing money for years, to the tune of a million over the past decade. Â With dwindling sales and attendance and the recent financial downturn, LACMA decided to end the struggling series, which is the bulk of its film department. In steps Scorcese. Â His well written plea was read, a meeting was hatched, he offered support and well, an offer was made Gavon couldn’t refuse (yes, I am mixing film makers but it really is the same theme.) Â Scorcese offered to help garner financial support for the program which was slated to end on October 17 with ‘The Classic Films of Alain Resnais.’
That you don’t know Resnais (be honest) is all the more reason to have a series showing works like these, especially in the town of film making. Â It’s vital to have places where cinematic history and film issues and advancements are discussed within the frame of art and study and advancements. Â But don’t take my word for it, listen to Marty.
(Sidebar: this also shows how vital news outlets are to advancing discussion of important issues and debate.)
(Other sidebar and cool tip: Go to the LACMA homepage and don’t skip to LACMA home. Cool stuff. I heart LACMA>