James Gray (Two Lovers) remembers going to see Walter Murch talking about his groundbreaking sound and editing work on The Conversation. John Landis (An American Werewolf in London) remembers seeing the original King Kong, a "life-changing experience." Allison Anders (Gas Food Lodging) remembers seeing an obscure Bette Davis movie with a packed house. Rian Johnson (Brick) one time just simply walked in without even knowing what was playing (it turned out to be Fellini's And the Ship Sails On). Those four, plus six other directors, shared their feelings with the Los Angeles Times on the uncertain fate of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and especially its beloved Bing Theater.
But some of the others aren't in the mood for reminiscing. John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood) says, "seeing a film like How Green Was My Valley and Duel in the Sun on the wide screen is a whole other thing. If TV babies don't understand what cinema is then cinema will become TV. That's the travesty." And Bertrand Tavernier adds, "instead of conceding defeat, we have to mobilize ourselves. Let's bring in students and alert teachers. Culture has a price, it's true. Has someone already calculated how much the absence of culture will cost a country? How much does the death of curiosity cost?"
The legendary Roger Corman, who is responsible for launching as many careers as the LACMA, simply had this to say: "LACMA is dedicated to showing art to the people. The only true art form of modern times is motion pictures. If they do not show the only modern art form, they are not showing art." Nuff said.