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Hollywood Mystery

April 12, 1987

Can anyone explain one minor mystery of life to me?

On one hand, you have tens of thousands of hungry, eager film makers, writers, directors, actors, etc., desperate to put some new vision on the screen, but they remain on the sidewalk outside the fortress walls of the studios, unable to get in, and with just enough change for bus fare home. Too much competition, too few opportunities.

On the other hand, you have movies coming out every week, 50% of which are abysmal garbage: The critics say so, the box-office receipts say so, and often the embarrassment of the people involved in making them being reminded of their movie later say so.

The question: The extreme difficulty of getting a project from idea to release date being what it is, how do so many people with no talent as craftsmen and nothing to say as artists get their hands on the millions of dollars and production facilities necessary to make a film that will die at the box office in two weeks and leave bad memories all around? There is a gap in this system that I don't understand.

Could it be the stuff that doesn't get made is even worse, and what we finally are offered is the best of all possible works; half being exploitative sex-and-mayhem trash or cliche-ridden lightweight throwaways?

I'm not naive enough to assume all starving artists are unappreciated geniuses and prophets, but I can sympathize with those who are, who see "Blood Schlock, Part VI" or Stallone's latest flex flick on the screen where their own work could be.

JOHN KENT

Woodland Hills

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