Feedback: Hollywood history and the Academy Museum’s stumble

The new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Traffic flows by the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Fairfax Avenue.
(Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)

Film museum’s big picture

The comments by Mary McNamara on the Academy Museum [“Jewish Erasure Outcry Was Needed,” March 2”] were on target in regard to leaving out the names of the Jews who started the motion picture business in a permanent collection at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

That is akin to leaving out the names of prominent African Americans such as Alex Haley, Barbara Jordan, Sojourner Truth or Maya Angelou in a museum of famous Black Americans.

Barry Solomon
Redondo Beach


Before and after I visited the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, my fellow Jews exhorted me to be outraged — “there are no Jews.” In reading Mary McNamara’s article, she provides a case for historical context of the origins of the industry. But to the outrage, my response was, I saw the Steven Spielberg video area, the David Geffen theater, the Barbra Streisand bridge. The Jews were everywhere! They paid for most of it. Heck, even the front of the building had the name of a prominent Jew, George Soros, carved in the front. So as for the Jews being “absent” from the museum, as far as I’m concerned, they’re there.

Marcia Greenberg
Los Angeles



Focus on the real problem

Regarding “Falling for the Scam” [by Meredith Blake, March 22]: We still live in a neoliberal age where our society’s big problems are filtered and addressed through individuals rather than seen as systemic. Case in point: the destructive effects of modern unregulated capitalism. These new TV shows about the grifters who stole millions and ruined lives may be educational and entertaining, but they could also mislead by portraying the problem as the fault of only a few “bad apples.”

How about creating shows that directly go after the ecosystem that allows the traditional corporation — the companies which are daily parts of our lives — to drive income inequality, environmental degradation, poor health outcomes, the erosion of democracy? And the special-interest-controlled governments that allow such injustices to happen? I’d watch that Netflix show.


Zareh Delanchian


Drama consists of conflict, good against bad, protagonists and antagonists. With such cinematic creations as “Goodfellas” and “The Godfather,” Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola have laid claim to being among the greatest auteurs in film history. But their subject matter typically focuses on characters that are not in alignment with morality or the law as most of us understand it.

To grasp the criminal mind, the con man or the common shyster through a screenplay, with actors and with circumstantial re-creations, has been part of our human artistic heritage since we were carving images on the walls of caves. Let us continue to shine an artistic light on the shadow side of the human psyche.

Ben Miles
Huntington Beach

Not such a smart move

Really? This was worth the ink spent on Mikael Wood’s column [“Aaron Lewis Lets It All Out,” March 23]? A full page devoted to a guy who says “I’m actually really smart ...” and goes on to praise Tucker Carlson?

Fox News won a court case by arguing that no reasonable viewer takes Carlson seriously. Polls have shown that people who watch only Fox News are less knowledgeable than people who watch no news at all. It seems that Aaron Lewis makes ignorant and disrespectful comments every time he opens his mouth and Mikael Wood and the L.A. Times think it’s worth publishing? Pandering to the fringes?

Gaylon Monteverde


What a waste of space printing an interview with a singer who gets his news from Dan Ball and other fake news sources. Your readers have no interest in seeing lies and false statements published in the L.A. Times. By doing so, you contribute to the spread of misinformation. Just like publishing photos of the former guy, we don’t need to see this.

Susan Rosenberg
La Quinta


I don’t get it. I realize everyone has a right to a voice, but why in the face of shrinking news space would you waste an entire valuable page of print on the antisocial spewing of a guy who flaunts his ignorance of science, fuels his misinformation from Fox News, admittedly drives away would-be fans, and can’t perform unless he smokes a joint on his way to the stage? If you’re running low on people to profile, I have a new novel coming out in November, and I’m available.

Barbara Pronin

Do your own research

Why do so many readers write to complain that Justin Chang is too intelligent in his film reviews? Yes, it is true that unlike reading a book, watching a movie requires less effort. For the most minimal understanding, you just have to sit there without falling asleep. This may be why so many viewers think their own opinion is as worthy as an informed opinion. The latest complaint was that Chang, in his review of the movie “After Yang” [“Robot Story on a Human Level,” March 4], made reference to Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu.

The latest letter writer pleaded: “How about writing reviews for people who might want to see movies, rather than for other critics?”

I would suggest a quick Google or Wikipedia search for Yasujiro Ozu, if you don’t know who he is. Believe it or not, Ozu and Akira Kurosawa are the contrasting masters of Japanese cinema, both among the most influential international directors of all time.

For over 70 years people who want to truly see movies have sought out the films by both, and have been immeasurably enriched. Every film viewer should know them.

Would this letter writer have complained about a book reviewer who referenced Shakespeare or Tolstoy or Camus or Woolf or Agatha Christie? The promulgation of a more expansive film culture among moviegoers is not an easy task.

Charles Derry
Palm Springs

A defining role

Is it possible that Calendar would roll out a lengthy take on the great Mark Rylance [“Tailoring His Role,” March 18] without mentioning, even alluding to his signature, Emmy-nominated (shoulda-won) transcendence as Thomas Cromwell in the limited series “Wolf Hall”?

Was “Wolf Hall” tapped out in code? Hiding somewhere in Emily Zemler’s 44 inches of copy to avoid being outed as a major work in Rylance’s career? Nope, just not there, a stunning omission.

Howard Rosenberg
Los Angeles
Note: The letter writer is a former television critic for The Times.