Patrons of the arthouse

Letter to the editor

To the editor:

Re “Making Art in Tentpole Times” (Daily Variety, June 16): This is also the time to nurture and support the established and budding repertory film programs — many of which call New York City their home, including BAMcinematek, the American Museum of the Moving Image, Anthology Film Archive, Film Forum, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, MoMA and Symphony Space, to name a few — that walk their talk by screening, night after night, essential cinema from the past and present, including works by Mr. Merchant’s favorite directors and the works by Ivory/Merchant themselves.

Other programs flourish in terrifically committed art centers/universities across the county: American Film Institute Silver Theater (Maryland), Facets Cinematheque (Illinois), George Eastman House (New York), Harvard Film Archive (Massachusetts), Pacific Film Archive (California) and Wexner Art Center (Ohio) are among the many.

There’s not enough room to mention our committed colleagues in institutions around the world (like our close neighbor Cinematheque Ontario).

And don’t get us started on the superb efforts of independent film distributors working day and night to buy and release the cutting-edge works of current directors and to re-release stunning new prints of classics (Kino, Milestone, Palm, Rialto, Wellspring, Zeitgeist, the list goes on…).

These curators, programmers, buyers and publicity and marketing staffs focus their hearts, energies and film savvy into the deeply rewarding — but certainly not profitable — world of repertory cinema.

These programs are expensive and complex to present. If only those who have made their fortunes in the commercial film industry would support the not-for-profit effort, we would see a lot more attention being paid.

Karen Brooks Hopkins

President, BAM

Brooklyn

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