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Power Lunching

February 21, 1993

Regarding "The Lunches Won't Be Naked," by Elaine Dutka (Feb. 7):

Movie fans and filmmakers alike should welcome the arrival of new 20th Century Fox Chairman Peter Chernin, an executive who immediately distinguishes himself from other overpaid, self-important moguls with his modesty ("My creative abilities are, hopefully, as good as those of anyone around") and unpretentiousness ("I'm probably one of the few who's read the book," referring to one of the most widely read underground classics of the modern era).

But what is truly thrilling is the sophistication of Chernin's taste, exemplified by his statement that " 'The Simpsons,' in my mind, is as significant an artistic achievement as anything in the entertainment world." I can just hear Coppola and Scorsese leading the stampede to this man's office door. Just don't try it on a Saturday morning, when mutant turtles are chasing cwazy bunny wabbits on the TV screen.

You know what this town needs running a studio? A producer who has the vision, sensibility and commercial savvy to produce films like "Close Encounters," "The Sting" and "Taxi Driver." Actually, there is such a talent, Julia Phillips, who by her own account is unable to eat any lunch in Hollywood these days, much less a naked one.

JULIAN MALTESE

Santa Monica

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