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Color Of Irony

November 30, 1986

In all the discussion, pro and con, regarding the colorizing of old black-and-white films (and for the record, I'm against it), a delicious irony has been overlooked by both the media and those directly involved in the debate (Calendar, Outtakes, Calendar Letters, "Nightline" "The Tonight Show," etc., summer and fall, 1986).

The colorizers maintain that once a film leaves a director's hands, and they acquire the property, they can do to it whatever they like.

Now, according to director Milos Forman, "in civilized societies, the right of an artist that his work will not be altered or changed in any way by anybody but himself should be respected."

The irony is that writers have been telling this to directors for years. But the directors have always maintained that once the script leaves the writer's hands, and they acquire it, they can do to it whatever they like.

How does it feel to be on the receiving end for a change? Now you have some idea what we've been putting up with for all these years. Let's hope that when this issue is resolved, you'll not be hypocritical about "the right of an artist."

J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI

Glendale

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