June 17, 2003
So, The American Film Institute is my most recent alma mater ("Old Nassau" and the Gilman School notwithstanding). And, as much affection that I have and as much gratitude as I feel towards that institution, I must agree with this commentary from Patrick Goldstein in the L.A. Times that AFI does seem to have lost it's way in recent years. By losing it's tether to the National Endowment for the Arts, AFI seems really to be in danger of losing itself in the blinding light of celebrity worship instead of fulfilling its stated mission of promoting and celebrating the art of moviemaking in America.
Not just who tells those stories, but HOW those stories are told, and WHY they are told. This is why we need places like AFI. Someone needs to make a point of remembering "how" and "why" for civilization to move forward. Otherwise, we simply undergo the same lessons over and over and over again.