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Afi's Image

October 11, 1998

Robert W. Welkos' excellent article on the current state of film preservation at the American Film Institute should be a wake-up call to that beloved yet deeply flawed institution ("To Preserve & (Self) Protect," Oct. 4).

The "100 Years . . . 100 Movies" presentation clearly revealed the present problem at AFI. In a rush for money, the very ideals that the AFI supposedly stands for were crassly disregarded. The final result was shockingly slipshod. Rather than using the list to inform the public of America's great movie past, it became merely a reflection of the public's sad ignorance of its movie history.

One can only hope that AFI's present weakness in film preservation and the disgrace of "100 Years . . . 100 Movies" are mere temporary breakdowns and that the AFI can get back to "advancing and preserving the art of the moving image."

DOMINIC DARWIN

Los Angeles

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