Biz in self-preservation

Film Foundation function flushes out H'wood elite

It was a night to remember, and more importantly, a night to preserve. On Monday, some of Hollywood’s heaviest hitters, including Dustin Hoffman, Martin Scorsese, Sharon Stone, Whoopi Goldberg and Leonardo DiCaprio, got together at the Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica to raise money for film preservation. And raise money they did — about $250,000 — for the Film Foundation.

Noting that half of the films made before 1950 have been lost forever, Scorsese, one of the biggest proponents of film preservation, spoke to a crowd of who’s who in Hollywood that included Oliver Stone, Martin Landau and Mira Sorvino.

“This is not just about preserving old films, but making a commitment to preserve contemporary and future films for the next generation. Art is a way of recording history, and film is great at doing that. There’s no such thing as an old film, just ones you haven’t seen.”

With nearly 60 items of movie memorabilia, including the original poster of Hoffman’s debut film, “The Graduate,” signed by Hoffman himself going for $9,000 and a “Vertigo” one-sheet for $3,500 to Stone, nobody held back.

Indeed, the last winning bid of $6,500 for an original poster of “Raging Bull” signed by Scorsese went to Hoffman.

Many of the items in the live and silent auction were donated by cabler American Movie Classics, one of the sponsors.

Stone summed it up best when she said, “I love filmmaking because it’s a job where you have to work with a team to create magic out of air. You want that magic, that family, however dysfunctional, to be preserved.”

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