As long as he can keep the altercations to a minimum and not hit anyone with a flying telephone, maybe Russell Crowe can draw an audience to see "The Water Diviner" ["Opening a New Door," April 19]. His antics were incredibly tiresome, but maybe he's older and wiser now. Aging in chronological years isn't so bad when it brings equanimity and insight.
LACMA, from outside and in
"Born in a Time of Change" [April 12] by Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne is an arrogant, dismissive expression of many principles of appreciation of art, architecture and human endeavor.
In a somewhat different context, it seems to endorse the Taliban and Boko Haram approach to destroying art, architecture, culture and history. The proposed Zumthor design for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art seems a continuation of this premise by demolishing existing buildings at public expense.
Art and architecture are time-specific expressions of their creators. We are entitled to like and/or dislike, to challenge and discuss. We can declare it obsolete, modify or even tear it down, but we should not be dismissive of the integrity of the designers' concepts. This is the first cousin to burning books.
One other thought: In Southern California, we have many talented architects. There can be no justification for failure to have an open, compensated design competition to give local and national talent a chance. Arbitrarily awarding a job that will surely involve millions of public dollars to a foreign architect is further arrogance.
Leonard B. Rich
As a longtime docent at LACMA, I was thrilled to read your comprehensive coverage of the museum's 50th anniversary ["LACMA at 50," April 12]. As indicated by your quote from Ahmanson Foundation President Bill Ahmanson, one of the museum's strengths is its docent program.
Docents are the human face of LACMA. Many have given decades of volunteer service, bringing the museum's impressive art collection to life with tours. Over the last 50 years, more than 2 million tours have been given to our visitors.
Volunteer docents were serving museum visitors even before creation of the Wilshire Boulevard campus, when a few guides would show visitors the small art collection within the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art in Exposition Park.
It's Errol Flynn at the controls
In Kenneth Turan's "Vivid Jolts of Classic Cinema" [April 19], he mentioned "The Dawn Patrol" with Errol Flynn going toe to toe (or is it propeller to propeller?) with German aces in World War I. In that film, Flynn seemed to be saying of himself, "Only a few guys can save the world as good as me."
Evan Dale Santos