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Spare Reiner

To the Editor:

After reading Peter Bart’s column on Rob Reiner (“Reiner’s Syndrome Sends Message to Filmmakers,” Daily Variety, June 30) I felt compelled to write. I would imagine if you spent all your time blasting directors, or anyone else in this business, it would be a full time job.

So because you, all mighty editor-in-chief of a Hollywood gossip paper, doesn’t like his movies means he’s a failure. Thinking he’s too political as you say is a negative? I say regardless of his politics, he has an opinion and he’s not afraid to speak up and use his Hollywood political clout to get his message out. I applaud this, and if we didn’t live in such a politically correct, power-fearing town others would most likely do the same.

I’m sorry, if he was too Hollywood I don’t think you would have written your article. And for a filmmaker, who is 58 as you so bluntly put it, he doesn’t really have to have some cheesy Hollywood blockbuster which lasts one opening weekend to be considered in touch with the “great” teen audience as you put it.

It seems to me that you, sir, need to pull your head out of the sand and get in touch with what real filmmaking is all about. It’s not flash in the pan opening weekend numbers that make a great filmmaker. A great filmmaker is one who emerges through a body of work that has stood the test of time. One that will be remembered for the chances he took for making that picture that he felt passionately about, and didn’t feel he needed to please tabloid writers. You, sir, should be proud of Rob Reiner and his career as a great filmmaker and look forward to things to come, not belittle him for commercial failures.

I can only feel that you would, and maybe did, write negative things about another great director, David Lean — who, need I remind you, had his share of commercial failures.

John Gilbert
(The author works as a film editor.)

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