In his article on the National Film Board, Theatre of the Absurd (Sept. 18), Roy MacGregor states that our feature film, One Man, “gathers dust only in Canada” after receiving raves from Cannes and from the U.S. The facts are that One Man was made as a television film, has been purchased by the CBC and will eventually be shown on the national network. He also states that the NFB spent $100,000 to promote Why Rock the Boat? and $300,000 for our Olympics film. We spent less than $20,000 on the former film, and the $300,000 for the latter was provided by COJO.
ROLAND LADOUCEUR, DIRECTOR, PUBLIC RELATIONS, NATIONAL FILM BOARD, MONTREAL
Roy MacGregor’s article leaves the impression that I have been wronged by the NFB in the making of my film, Cry of the Wild. The circumstances under which I made the film are extremely complex. Every time something appears on the subject, the NFB comes off sounding bad, and I appear to have been ripped off. While I did havedifficulty interesting the board in the idea originally, the head of production did stand behind me all the way once the decision was made to go ahead. The article suggests that I received payment only for my editing time. This is not true. The NFB paid me for the time I invested in the editing, as well as a salary while I was completing the sound. After the success of the film they also gave me a bonus. It’s true I received no royalties, but I did not contemplate any. Much of MacGregor’s article is basically and embarrassingly true, but I am aware of many more extremely talented, dedicated film-makers at the board than the article gives credit for. The NFB dominates festivals around the world, and considering it is a government institution, I am more surprised by what it’s doing right than by what it is doing wrong.
BILL MASON, OLD CHELSEA, QUE.
Beware of falling rock
After reading your interview with Linda Ronstadt, Rock’s Queen at 32 (Oct. 2), my opinion of her has gone
down. I was quite happy to see her on various TV specials, and I was enjoying her music. But now that I’ve seen how boring, negative, and shallow she is, I’m quite disappointed. She says she has no long-range goals, no strong political beliefs, and she sees few positive aspects to life at the top of the rock business. C’mon, Linda, there’s more to you than that, ish’t there?
TIM KELLY, PORT HOPE, ONT.
Turning brass into gold
Judith Timson’s article on Patsy Gallant, Thursday Night Fever (Sept. 18), hit the nail on the head. From the first time I saw her she disgusted me—and I’m no prude. I feel that Canadian TV hit a new low when they gave her a show. During the Juno Awards she made me feel as if I wanted to crawl into a hole with embarrassment. To compare her with Julie Amato is like contrasting brass with gold. Please take her away.
MRS. SIDNEY HOOPER, FREEPORT, N.S.
Crucifying a class
I feel Allan Fotheringham finally makes sense in his column, For Proof that Power Tends to Corrupt Look No Further Than Pierre Trudeau (Sept. 18). He has figured out how the Liberal hucksters stay in power. Now Joe Clark is about to sweep the country with one gimmick:making mortgage interest taxdeductible. It was the middle class that built this country and it is they who have been crucified by the Liberals.
JEAN-PIERRE LA POCHE, LUGER, N.B.
For values received
I feel Peter Newman’s editorial, Our Cops Should Stop Moving into the Growing Gap Between Law and Justice (Oct. 2), illustrates magnificently the nadir to which Canadian journalism has sunk. To eulogize Michael Posner’s flippant and unobjective review of police and their troubles, Law and Order on the March (Oct. 2), as “an important and timely piece of investigative journalism,” shows incredible shallowness and unbelievably low standards on the part of Canada’s national newsmagazine. To suggest that the recommendations on marijuana by the Le Dain Commission and the Canadian Bar Association prove that “our laws no longer reflect prevailing customs or moral values,” divests Newman of any claim to knowing or understanding the customs and values of the majority of Canadians. Newman is a flagrant example of the present breed of Canadian media people: the totalitarian liberals.
JON SNIPPER, OTTAWA
Vet the picture?
I feel I must protest the publication of the picture accompanying your piece on the Etrogs, Sshh! Someone Might Be Watching! (Preview, Sept. 4). There are
many good things about Maclean’s, but I feel you should choose pictures with more restraint.
FAITH IMBACH, THREE HILLS, ALTA.
A Child’s Garden of Curses
In his column on the CBC, There ’s Nothing Wrong with the CBC . . . (Sept. 25), William Casselman reminds me of a marriage partner who, immediately following the breakup of the marriage, announces that the reason for the breakup lies in the dreadful inadequacy and wrongdoing of the other partner. Casselman’s marriage to the CBC has gone sour, and his article reeks of the pentup frustration of a child who, unable to get what he wants, finds a way to revenge himself.
D. H. FORSEE, SIOUX LOOKOUT, ONT.
Tight Little Island
Robert Plaskin’s quip in The Grass is Greener . . . (Sept. 25), that Newfoundlanders regard mainlanders as their real arch-foes, is cheap and flippant. It is true that there is a traditional solidarity in Newfoundland against those who would misrepresent us and put us down. How else could we have survived on this old rock for 400 years? But we do know that we have many friends and well-wishers across Canada, and not only among native-born Newfoundlanders. We are grateful for them.
A. R. SCAMMELL, ST. JOHN’S, NFLD.
No room at the top
In your article on John Sewell, Buttoned Down Rebel (Sept. 25), you state: “ ‘Stop Sewell!’ exhorted a recent editorial in The Toronto Sun, which has been trying to stop him ever since it was The Toronto Telegram.” In the three municipal elections since the Sun has been in existence, we have always supported Sewell as alderman in Ward 7. In 1972, 1974, and 1976 we urged voters to give him
the top spot as ward alderman. While we didn’t like his politics very much, we felt he served his ward well, worked hard and deserved election. It is only as mayor of Toronto that we think he should be beaten. If he runs again as alderman, we’d likely support him.
PETER WORTHINGTON, EDITOR IN CHIEF, THE TORONTO SUN, TORONTO
Faith versus filth
Your inadequate, unfair coverage of the serious issues involved in the censorship question, Bad News for Good Books... (Oct. 2), has no place as a news report. I felt your writer deliberately caricatured and misrepresented those who object to the irresponsible dissemination of filth. To label such people as book-banners is to substitute namecalling for debate.
LESLIE K. TARR, EDITOR, FAITH TODAY, CANADA’S CHRISTIAN NEWSFEATURE MAGAZINE, TORONTO
I found your examination of book selection policies in public schools to be both fascinating and amusing. It reminds me of something my history teacher said to me after reading my examination paper: “You write interesting history, Campbell. The trouble is, it didn’t happen that way.” There are several times as many members of Renaissance Canada than the 1,000 your article reported. Furthermore, it is not a question of whether there is censorship in the schools. It is more important to know whose moral, cultural and esthetic views determine book-selection policy. Obviously the books which communicate the values of our Judeo-Christian heritage are being banned, while the books which reflect a philosophy alien to such values are being promoted. Renaissance is committed to the view that parents alone have the responsibility to decide which values should be transmitted to their children. Many parents don’t need to read anything more than excerpts in books which graphically portray destructive views of sexual intimacy (which writers inject into their books to make them more exciting), to know they don’t want to encourage children to read them. Margaret Laurence’s controversial depiction of sex has no place in the public-school classrooms of the nation!
KEN CAMPBELL, PRESIDENT, RENAISSANCE INTERNATIONAL, WILLOWDALE, ONT.
Your report on the current censorship battles disturbs me greatly. If the followers of movements like Renaissance Canada so misdoubt the strength of their own convictions that they fear these beliefs may be shaken in their own children, then their convictions have little truth, and their mistrusted children are lost to their beliefs already.
JOHN F. LOCKYER, SENIOR ENGLISH MASTER, PICKERING COLLEGE, NEWMARKET, ONT.
Acreep in the deep
I thank Barbara Amiel for a special gift, her appreciative and humane profile of Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen Says That to All the Girls (Sept. 18). Amiel, unlike most journalists and critics faced with the task of confronting Cohen, dared to go deeper than myth.
LINDA PYKE, TORONTO
A good beginning, but...
The only intelligent thing I saw in Heather Menzies’ Referendum Debate column, If We’re to Discover Our Own Truth . . . (Sept. 4), was her first sentence which states: “So, the public’s lost interest in national unity.”
ERIC HOWALD, KINCARDINE, ONT.
The not-so-rare breed
Let’s not encourage our national technological inferiority complex with statements such as, “It is a rare occasion indeed when this country leads the world in any form of technological advancement” (Contents, Sept. 25). It’s just not true. Canada’s problem is that initial discoveries, which can often be made with very small budgets, cannot be brought to the marketplace without sufficient money to begin production and promotion. Unless we reverse the present trend, we will shortly be a nonindustrialized nation, relying solely on the export of our non-renewable resources to give us the manufactured products we need. We can reverse this trend. But time is running short.
RICHARD HOLLINS, TORONTO
I read with intense interest your article, Canada in its Fashion (Sept. 4). I feel Barbara Amiel has examined the major problems existing in the fashion industry and the anxieties most Canadian fashion designers have while trying to achieve success. The article will help to eliminate some of the ignorance that exists between most Canadians and people like myself who have a career in the fashion profession.
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