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Watching films and seeing art

August 06, 2009

Re "LACMA's cruelest cut of all," Opinion, Aug. 1

Amen to the justifiably angry reaction from Richard Schickel to, as he calls it, LACMA's cruelest cut. Schickel does a service by mentioning local venues still showing classic and off-trail films (such as UCLA, the NuArt, the Hammer Museum and the Aero, which is actually one of two theaters run by American Cinematheque, the other being the Egyptian).

It's a pity he didn't also mention the New Beverly Cinema, which after three decades is still heroically offering Angelenos an eclectic mix of art house, grindhouse and Hollywood classics.

All of these halls deserve greater patronage, and if more people will occasionally leave their homes to enjoy these big-screen experiences, they will discover a thrill that simply can't be replicated by even the finest DVDs.

Preston Neal Jones

Hollywood

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Schickel's plea to save the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's film program might be motivated by good intentions, but it left me and my two daughters outraged over our breakfast cereal when it casually savaged the recent exhibit of contemporary Korean artists.

So we're writing to tell you, as non-Koreans, that we very much enjoyed this LACMA exhibit.

It is cruel and unfair to state such a negative and subjective opinion and present it as proof of the museum's lack of artistic quality and leadership. We found the works surprising, relevant and, perhaps unexpectedly, very much "in the stream" of today's art trends. Schickel only reveals his own artistic limitations in his off-hand critique of a really engaging exhibit, raising the question: Would Mr. Schickel even recognize art in film when he saw it?

We hope LACMA stays the course and also finds room for its worthy film program.

Jessica Pezzullo

Los Angeles

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