In response to foreign pic flap

Letter to the editor

I would like to clarify what might be several misunderstandings in Army Archerd’s column on Tuesday. First of all, only a handful of committee members left early from the Academy screening of “Antares” the Austrian submission for foreign language award, and a few members leave almost any screening early.

Most importantly, I would hate for my quoted remarks to suggest in any way that the Austrian film is pornographic. While the movie is certainly sexually explicit, its director, Gotz Spielmann, is after something of much more consequence than appealing to our prurient interests.

“Antares” has much more artistically to say and is a successful work from a serious filmmaker. Our committee, of which I am extremely proud, is much too rigorous and broad-minded to let a little graphic sex get in the way of artistic merit.

Also, should an individual committee member be offended by what he or she sees on screen, he or she has the recourse of either walking out of the film and/or awarding it the lowest mark. Army’s column is always informative and refreshing; in this case I just feel it omitted a crucial aspect of my conversation with him.

Mark Johnson

chair, Foreign Language Selection Committee

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences