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Avoid Hollywood trash

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The headlines on Sunday's front page announce: "An ideal year to hit film festivals." Ideal in what way? Well, there will be no crowds! But what about the films?

Picture this. Father packs the family into the Suburban and heads to Park City. "This is an ideal year to hit the film festivals," he announces. "No crowds!" "But shouldn't we find out what films they're showing," says mother reasonably. "Well, maybe," admits father, "but they said there would be no crowds."

"Here's one," mother says, reading the fine print: "It's rated R (profanity, violence, drugs, brief sex, vulgarity, brief nudity, brief gore, racial epithets)." Father takes his foot off the accelerator. "What's 'brief sex'?" asks little Amy. Father skips the exit to Parleys Canyon and takes Foothill instead.

"Well, maybe we're not ready for culture today. Pizza, anybody?" Just as the professional athlete argues he's not a "role model," Hollywood insists that it is not in the business of teaching "values."

Of course it is. And Hollywood will be the first to claim that even the most raunchy film has some "redeeming" value. But too often the collateral damage of filthy language, explicit sex and violence and blatant vulgarity chokes out much of the film's value.

This is sad. With the incredible special effects and film innovations in recent years, Hollywood is capable of producing magnificent works (like the just released "Lord of the Rings"). So why are there so many bad films, sullied by coarseness and vulgarity? Looking at the deterioration and growing decadence over the last few years, any thoughtful person has to ask: Where will it end?

I wish I had an answer. Personally, I am determined to avoid the trash that comes out of Hollywood masquerading as art by simply not supporting it. One thing (and sometimes the only thing) Hollywood understands is money. Don't go on a junket to support junk art.

Bob Lewis

Salt Lake City