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February 1998, Week 2


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Irene Upshur <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Irene Upshur <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 10 Feb 1998 11:51:28 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (44 lines)
To Chris Horak, Director, Munich Filmmuseum
YOU SAY:  "Taking a percentage from every ticket sold in America as a film
preservation tax, is actually not a bad idea. But I hardly think you will
be able to get either Congress, or the film industry, or the public to
accept yet another tax."
I SAY:  Whoa! Who said anything about taxes? Not me. I say take the
existing "pie o' profits" and cut it finer to include film preservation.
I learned from a fellow yesterday that Spielberg has a contractual
arrangement attached to all his films that insures preservation. This is
clearly one logical approach.
YOU SAY:"...virtually all silent films are no longer of interest to them.
[exhibitors, distributors, and producers] All those thousands of films
made by companies now dead, defunct, out-of-business, are not their
I SAY:  Isn't this the real issue? Shouldn't these businessmen be expected
to contribute to the public good--sort of their United Way--rather than
exploiting the generousity of the viewing public who have already paid
their share.
Please know, if the big boys can't rally around the preservation of their
own product...count on it...I will give what I can. I can't handle the
notion of decaying Strangelove emulsion.
Chris, thanks for responding to my rant. This issue needs to be
discussed.Time is critical. Film preservationists must know that I am not
the only one who wonders why the commercial film industry doesn't want to
do the right thing and save their own and orphaned films. Further, you
clearly have personal knowledge of the dollar amount Scorcese has given to
the effort (surely it covered preserving Raging Bull?) so I must extended
an apology to Scorcese for being "cacky."  (Love that word but it's not in
my vocabulary. Is its meaning similar to "catty?")
Irene C. Upshur
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