Boos and cheers for Yusuf/Cat Stevens
Randy Lewis writes that in his "emotionally and spiritually rich" recent L.A. concert, Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, "quickly jumped over the quarter-century he devoted to pursuing his newfound Muslim faith," ["Yusuf/Cat Stevens Sings About the 50th Anniversary of His Musical Career," Oct. 8]. Lewis went on to chastise those fans who, he claims, "initially vilified" Yusuf for his conversion to Islam. The reason Yusuf was, and should continue to be, vilified: He publicly and repeatedly agreed that author Salman Rushdie must be murdered for writing a novel he and the Ayatollah found offensive.
I just finished reading your review on Cat Stevens and found it to be spot on. My wife and I saw Thursday's show and haven't been able to stop talking about it. I was fortunate enough to see him in Detroit in 1971 and 1972, and this show made the perfect full circle. Thanks for your fine review.
'Sully' role was true to source
Regarding "Oscar-caliber actresses are all too regularly relegated to phoning it in" [Oct. 5]. Rebecca Keegan must not have read Chesley Sullenberger's book, "Highest Duty," on which the movie "Sully" was based. Laura Linney's portrayal of Sullenberger's wife is an extremely accurate depiction of the way it was presented in the book. The "prosecutorial" NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] in the movie, a different story.
Environmental effects ignored
Regarding "'Deepwater Horizon': A Disaster Film Taps into Outrage" [Sept. 30]. Just saw this movie and found it shocking, tense, amazing and terrifying. At the end there's a statement about the millions of gallons of oil spilled and what happened to BP. But I think the producers and director missed a big opportunity to describe the environmental disaster the spill instigated.
Why politics is so tiresome
I can see why reporter Robert Lloyd is so exhausted with the media coverage of the election ["Election 2016: We've Had Enough! Can't We Vote Now?" Oct. 8]. Working at The Times, you have to pretend that you're objective journalists while also being total shills for the Democratic Party, throwing out professional integrity, pushing the liberal agenda as well as slanting coverage to favor Hillary Clinton. Give the man a vacation.
Wilson was not a big fan
Regarding "In 1915, D.W. Griffith made a revolutionary film" and "Birth" is "a great film that argues for evil" [Oct. 2]. Two articles perpetuated several mistakes about Woodrow Wilson's reaction to D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation." Although President Wilson screened the film in the White House, he was not one of its "most prominent champions." His only known reaction to the movie is "that this was a very unfortunate production and I wish most sincerely that its production might be avoided, particularly in communities where there are so many colored people." Wilson almost certainly never said, "It is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true."
A. Scott Berg
Film portrayal of race in America
Philip S. Hart
Griffith invented modern cinema?
D.W. Griffith certainly expanded the language of motion pictures during the transformation period (1908 to 1914). But to say he "practically invented modern cinema" is a stretch and obscures the work of his contemporaries — G.M. Anderson, Urban Gad, Lois Weber, the Ince brothers, Giovanni Pastrone, etc. The notion that Griffith invented film technique was a publicity stunt arranged by Griffith himself.
Holocaust denial is far-reaching
The more troubling thing about Kenneth Turan's review of the movie "Denial" ["Rising to Defense of Truth," Sept. 30], of the 1996 British court trial, is that of having California's school teachers give a classroom assignment in "critical thinking" and demand essays debunking the Holocaust as fiction not two years ago.
Missing theater review feature
I really miss Theater Beat on Fridays. As I read the Oct. 7 Calendar section, I was astonished to see that there were 27 reviews of films and only one review of a play. Only a handful of the films reviewed could be considered major releases. If you have that much column space for film reviews, surely you could cut four or five film reviews and replace them with stage reviews. We have a vibrant live-theatrical community in Los Angeles, and one of the necessities for theater to grow is exposure. I hope The Times will consider resurrecting the Friday Theater Beat and do its part in helping L.A. theater to thrive.
Arrrgh! Where's Johnny Depp
Disney has finally released the new trailer for the upcoming 2017 "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie ["Depp Is MIA in Peek at 'Pirates,' " [Oct. 9]. But Disney did not include a very important asset to the trailer that gives us that excitement. Johnny Depp has been the prime focus of these movies but was nowhere in the trailer. So what does this mean? Are they replacing him? Does he die in the movie? All these questions are getting the fans worked up.
John Prine article well done
Regarding "John Prine's Creativity Is Back in Gear" [Oct. 5]. Your piece on John Prine, in the L.A. Times, was great! I live in Nashville, and the Tennessean doesn't cover him like you did.
Mary Lou Lancaster