Calendar Letters: A novel promotion
Regarding: “Times Book Fest Ends After Drawing 150,000” [April 24]: So they were promoting the series “The Handmaid’s Tale” at the Festival of Books. My first thought was that the USC Spirit Squad was showing off their new Mike Pence-approved cheerleading uniforms.
Modern art is found lacking
I read Christopher Knight’s review [“Stirring the Pot All Over Again,” April 24] with rapt amazement. I think you have, in describing this exhibit, exemplified everything I have come to disdain in the current “modern art” world whether you meant to or not. The elaborate art-babble, so prevalent in the discussions of modern works these days, aptly illustrates the problems of this era: If you have to explain it in great detail and with countless art world insider euphemisms, then it obviously doesn’t work as a piece of art, and one may well doubt that a century from now such works will even be remembered other than as footnotes of a failed era.
Defining “art” is simple for me: If it intrinsically evokes emotions or deep thinking of any kind within the common man or woman, it works and has cultural value; if not, well, there is always money to made creating a fantasy art appreciation world where “expression” is vilified and thus nothing evocative is produced.
I visited the Geffen recently. While purchasing tickets, I noticed that the expansive space seemed empty. The Geffen is a magnificent space, and I suspect there are hundreds of local artists that would love to have their craft displayed there. My other suspicion is that most of them are far more talented than Mr. [Carl] Andre.
Breaching that glass ceiling
I was so thrilled to see Denise Di Novi finally getting the recognition she deserves [“‘Unforgettable’ New Direction,” April 22]. I went to elementary school with Denise, and at her fifth-grade pool party, we discussed what we dreamed of being when we grew up. I wanted to be a writer and she confidently responded that she wanted to be a “voice-over actor.” She ended up going bigger and better by breaking into one of the toughest boys clubs around.
Marla Schram Schwartz
Local theater needs support
It is bewildering to me why The Times reviews plays being produced in New York, San Diego and San Francisco. I am a Los Angeles theatergoer who feels privileged to be able to enjoy the countless wonderful L.A. productions, yet few of them are reviewed by The Times. Please devote more of your limited resources toward reviewing the plays your readers might realistically attend.
Art films hard to locate in Texas
Not all of the country is fortunate enough to have a place to see films on the big screen as mentioned in Mark Olsen’s hopeful article about increased distribution of art films [“Art-house Fare for All,” April 23]. After retiring from the film industry and moving to Fort Worth, I was amazed to find that, in a city sophisticated enough to have three of the most acclaimed art museums in the country, there were no theaters showing any but mainstream Hollywood films.
I noticed when I went to any of the mulitplex theaters during midweek it felt like a ghost town, with only a handful of people watching most of the films. Although most art films were reviewed in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, if I wanted to see any of these I had to drive 30 miles to Dallas to an art-film venue. It occurred to me that if only one of these sparsely attended screens were to be dedicated during midweek to showing independent films for those of us from the pre-blockbuster, action and superhero film days — not to mention those who love film as art — distributors, exhibitors and those making these less costly films would benefit. I know they’d sell more popcorn and snacks during the week than they do now.