Friday, August 14, 2009
The silence is deafening...
Save Film at LACMA has secured a date to meet with Michael Govan—Sept. 1. This so-called "popcorn summit," has as its stated goals to convey the critical importance of the LACMA film program for our community; help find ways to reinstate and enhance the museum's commitment to film; and present Michael Govan with our petition. The meeting location is still unconfirmed. Present at the meeting will be film scholars, movie critics, film lovers and others deeply affected by the museum's decision. We are pleased Mr. Govan committed to this meeting.
At the same time, we are puzzled by LACMA's lack of response to Martin Scorsese's passionate letter published in the Los Angeles Times Calendar section's front page (Aug. 13). This letter was a moving plea to LACMA leadership to come to its senses and recognize the error of cancelling the film program. Scorsese also asked the museum to declare its commitment to film as an art form, calling LACMA's action a "serious rebuke to film within the context of the art world."
We wonder about the meaning of LACMA's silence. Given the outpouring of dismay over the cancellation, LACMA owes it to our community to engage in open, honest, civic dialogue.
So far we've seen form letters and boilerplates filled with double-speak from LACMA—even on their so-called Discussion Forum. Damage control is not enough. We demand to know what the museum's intentions are for the film program.
While we look forward to hearing, in our meeting, Michael Govan's thoughts on the subject, the museum—a public institution—owes Los Angeles, and now, the world, a public response. LACMA needs to communicate to its constituents its answer to Scorsese's letter and a recognition of the many voices of dissent.