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Great cinema still popular, available

August 09, 2007

Re "Death of a cinema culture," Opinion, Aug. 5

As I am in my 50s, I qualify as being at an impressionable age during the 1970s boom in art house European cinema. Although I agree that Western European cinema has often devolved into simpering cigarette-imbued gabfests, Richard Schickel has missed the key shift in movies: The action for my generation is in the home theater and not in the multiplex.

In the 1970s, nontheatrical presentations occurred mostly on small, fuzzy screens, with programming determined by a few networks. Now, with the easy, on-demand availability of almost anything ever filmed, older viewers can easily enjoy offerings from South Korea, South Africa and Ireland, to name a few contributors that continue to make superb, genre-bending offerings that emphasize writing, acting and storytelling rather than celebrity and effects. I am disappointed that Schickel has not credited Kim Ki-Duk, Im Kwon-taek and Gavin Hood with continuing the tradition of Antonioni, Fellini and Godard.

Jonathan Kaunitz

Los Angeles

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Yes, it was a wonderful life, and I suppose those of us who lived in New York in the '60s -- and rarely thought of going to a "Hollywood" movie -- were privileged indeed. But a cult? What a revelation, when all this time I thought the whole world was watching Bergman, Antonioni and the rest along with us.

Madeline Porter

Costa Mesa

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