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SUNDAY READING

THE MIRROR : How Others See Us : Corrupt Content

June 01, 1986

Englishman David Puttnam's films include "The Killing Fields," "Midnight Express" and "Chariots of Fire." The following, by James Fallon, first appeared in Women's Wear Daily.

Puttnam says he went into movie making because of the power of film and its ability to shape people's views. His own perceptions of right and wrong were heavily influenced by movies he saw as a teenager.

"I learned more about morality from 'On the Waterfront' and 'High Noon' than I did from any teacher or minister," he once said.

He regards himself as "genuinely independent" and shudders visibly when he talks about the corporate culture of American filmmaking. "I could never be part of Hollywood," he says. In addition to the system there, he is turned off by the content of many American films.

"In Hollywood, people make films about a society that is grotesque and those films do nothing to improve that society," he charges. "They then put up barbed wire fences with 15-foot gates around their homes in order not to have to confront the society they are feeding. What kind of morality is that?"

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