Calendar Feedback: Indiana Jones and the Culture of Spoilers

An older man in the semi-dark, looking amazed, with a young woman in the blurred background
Harrison Ford in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.”
( Lucasfilm Ltd. / Disney)
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The return of Indiana Jones

The L.A. Times ran an article the very day “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” was released (it’s 7 a.m., how many California residents have seen this movie yet?) spoiling a major secret in the very title of the article [“Marion Ravenwood can really keep a secret,” July 2].

Laughably, the article opened with “This article contains spoilers.” That would be effective only if you put a notice on the front page: “This paper contains spoilers.” Thank you for ruining one of the joys a fan has after years of waiting — the thrill of surprise.

Kevin Kochanski
San Diego


I wish Justin Chang would dedicate himself to do a different job aside from being a film critic [“Mr. Jones’ last raid,” June 30]. No, I didn’t ask myself all those philosophical questions he suggested. Silly me, I just went to a Saturday night movie to enjoy myself. And I sure did. The film is spectacular, a lot of fun, and I felt truly good after I left. I’ll keep reading Mr. Chang’s reviews and see only the films he doesn’t like. If he likes it, I’ll stay away from it.


Myriam Soler
Los Angeles


Thank you for your lovely portrait of Harrison Ford [“Harrison Ford has no interest in retiring,” July 2]. When we were developing “Air Force One,” the moment I read Andrew Marlowe’s perfect screenplay it was obvious who must play the president. For once I talked my then-partner out of his preference, we called Ford’s longtime, brilliant manager, the late Pat McQueeney, and the rest is history.

Thomas Bliss
Los Angeles
Bliss was an executive producer of “Air Force One.”


The not-so-Golden State

Jean Pfaelzer’s exposé on California’s “hidden” forays into forms of slavery in the Golden State was indeed eye-opening [“A neglected history no more,” July 2]. No person or group should ever be denied their inalienable human rights.

That said, there are two things not so “shocking”: One, are there certain individuals (or groups) that wrongly take advantage and oppress others? Of course! Welcome to planet Earth. Second, despite California’s shady past, the diversity of races, religions, ethnic groups and nationalities from all countries of the world continue to flock here.

We certainly may not be the most “perfect“ state in the union. However, I don’t know if any other state with the opportunities that California presented in its past would have fared any better. The unflattering side of the human condition of greed and/or corruption has no boundaries. The battle between good and evil, justice and injustice is a constant one.

Rick Solomon
Lake Balboa


Farewell, Alan Arkin

When a celebrity‘s final departure causes an immense sadness and sense of national grief, the celebrity in question must be great. Alan Arkin was just that as he bid his final farewell at 89 [“Beloved for gruffly supportive dads, Alan Arkin was more than ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’” June 30]. I’ve not seen every movie with him, but a few stand out worth mentioning. His Lt. Rozanov in “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” was superb, with his Russian accent being outstanding. Also his Mr. Singer in “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” was mesmerizing. Goodbye, Alan, you made a difference.

Bill Spitalnick
Newport Beach


“The Kominsky Method’s” superb cast and excellent writers just weren’t enough to keep the show going once Alan Arkin retired after two seasons [“Oscar winner with wry, offhand performances,” July 1]. They were good, mind you, but he was the one who put the mustard on that hot dog. RIP.


Warren Cereghino
Pacific Palisades


A poet remembers a poet

I met Amy Uyematsu in one of Peter Levitt’s poetry workshops [“Amy Uyematsu’s words moved mountains,” June 29]. I believe I arranged one of her first poetry readings, if not the first, in the home of a friend, the late Doris Pally. Doris rounded up a group of her East Coast women friends to gather in her living room in the Valley. Neither one of us had yet published our first books. Together we read, and the ladies adored her.

Florence Weinberger

The Mark Taper goes dark

I’ll tell you the real reason the Taper is losing audiences and it has nothing to do with the pandemic. Nobody wants a woke agenda for plays. We want the best plays. Period. Not the best plays by a Native American, LGBTQ, etc. Identity plays and greatness are not necessarily mutually exclusive; however, great plays are meant to engage a truly diverse audience with themes that resonate for all — not just for some. Until businesses like CTG get this, they will continue to fail, as well they should, even in virtue-signaling L.A.

Rich Cooper
Santa Monica


As a SoCal theater arts teacher for many years, the Mark Taper was my North Star [“Rationale behind Mark Taper pause,” June 26]. I found inspiration and even material support for my own productions, and a place to send my students to be moved in the way that only open-staged live theater can do. It was the place where the cutting edge of contemporary theater was to be found. This was the legacy of Gordon Davidson. Over the years, things changed. I protested when Michael Ritchie ended student tickets; he was courteous enough to respond personally, but I was unconvinced. Now under CEO Meghan Pressman they are temporarily shutting down. I would like to suggest that the Taper take a step back to its roots in the spirit of Grotowski’s “poor theater,” an idea that was born about the time that the Taper was in the 1960s. Great theater is not contingent upon expansive sets, expensive costumes and special effects. It’s about the actor on a bare stage. Why not move toward a fine actor with a great script in a pool of light instead of going dark?

Robert Huber
Yorba Linda


Not down with the hoochie mamas

As an African American, I was appalled to see the prominence given to the story on HoochieCon [“Fly women’s rich legacy,” June 26]. Looking at the rest of the Calendar section, no other group is represented in such a vulgar form.

The arts have been devastated by COVID. How about helping some real artists with some much-needed publicity instead of giving the front page of the Calendar section to some self-proclaimed “historian” of mattressology?

Steve Bowie


The enduring genius of Sheldon Harnick

Thank you for your appreciation for “Fiddler on the Roof” lyricist Sheldon Harnick [“He created a beloved tradition,” June 24].


The genius of Harnick was that he made his songs conversational and universally relatable.

In “Do You Love Me?,” for instance, rather than have the characters romantically sing their love for each other, he has Tevye ask impishly, “Do you love me?” and his wife, Golde, snaps back in bafflement: “Do I what?”

“Sunrise, Sunset” resonates for all parents who have seen their children suddenly grow up before their eyes. “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “Far From the Home I Love” capture the hope, fear and pain of love. And “To Life” has an infectious joy that transcends the limits of its Hebrew words.

Harnick’s legacy will live on at bar and bat mitzvahs and weddings of all faiths for all time.

Stephen A. Silver
San Francisco


The treasure of Turner Classics Movies

Much to the dismay of my wife, every time I turn on the TV, I check to see what is on TCM before looking at other programming choices [“TCM layoffs prompt film-fan outcry,” June 23]. This network is part of the fabric of my life, and the movies it shows are priceless. Here’s hoping that Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson and Martin Scorsese can preserve this cultural treasure for the foreseeable future and beyond.

John Thompson
La Habra