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Clip Job : Fear Of Colorizing

November 02, 1986

Caution: The following letters have been colorized. Do not read without using special safety glasses.

Shame on the Directors Guild for its vituperative attack on the colorizers as "pimps . . . out to make a fast buck."

The reality for those of us who don't have privileged access to Hollywood's film vaults is that black-and-white films are receiving a steadily decreasing proportion of air time even as television programming (via independent and cable) expands.

The assertion that the colorizers are destroying cherished cultural documents is ridiculous. Colorization doesn't destroy the original film; colorized copies and original black-and-white movies are both available at many local video stores.

The aim of the "Yankee Doodle Dandies" and "Miracles . . ." in their era coincides with that of the "Top Gun's" in ours: mass entertainment. The Directors Guild says that the masses aren't cultural imbeciles and would opt for a black-and-white "Casablanca" over a colorized version anyway. Yet the Directors Guild wants to ensure that choice by shutting down the colorizers or, short of that, denying them access to the black-and-white films.

Wake up, guys. Let the movie audience make its own choice. Isn't it better to wring your hands in private desperation over this latest version of "Trashing the Classics" than to publicly exhibit yourselves as raving censors?


Marina del Rey

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