On reading the otherwise very informative set of articles celebrating Jeanine Basinger and the Wesleyan film program, I was sorry to find that the important early contributions to the program made by Bruce Corwin ’62 [Hon. ’87] went unmentioned. Bruce and his family were major players in the funding, distribution, and showing of films in Hollywood in the mid-to-late 20th century, and I know he was delighted and proud to support the study at his alma mater of the industry he loves.
Stephen Butts ’62
I had tears in my eyes the whole time while reading the heartwarming article about Jeanine Basinger. The more we read of the struggle women have always had to achieve their deserved recognition in academia, the more Jeanine’s accomplishments astonish.
Rick Crootof ’66, MD, P’96
Along with the many other graduates working in film featured in the previous issue, I’d like to add a mention of my nephew, Andrew Berends ’94. Andy was a hugely successful documentary filmmaker, most recently shooting portions of Free Solo, the Oscar-winning film about Alex Honnold’s historic free climb of El Capitan. Andy made many other films (such as Delta Boys, The Blood of My Brother, and Medina’s Dream). Sadly, after bouts with serious depression and a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, Andy took his own life in March. A film fellowship for budding filmmakers was established in Andy’s name at: https://andrewberends.net/about-2/.
Curtis R. Berrien ’64
I don’t think it was “the very year women were first admitted as full-time students at Wesleyan” that Jeanine did an entire class on Joan Crawford. I know because I took that class as a sophomore in the fall of 1972, co-taught by Don Meyer. Ms. Crawford made an appearance in McConaghey, introduced by Richard Coe of The Washington Post, in full movie star presentation. The next class Jeanine said, “what you saw was a star!”
Brian Steinbach ’75
With nary a mention of the #MeToo movement, the magazine makes it seem as if Film Studies at Wesleyan is legitimating the status quo in Hollywood. I would expect film studies educators to be asking tough questions about their role in reproducing sexual violence in the entertainment industries.
Tryon P. Woods ’95
Unfortunately, in his letter to the magazine, Robert J. Huntz MALS ’64 is mistaken about Martin Luther King Jr. being the Commencement speaker that year. I am looking at the Commencement program for June 7, 1964. Dr. King gave the Baccalaureate Service. Sargent Shriver was the Commencement speaker. Commencement day seems to have been a much more leisurely occasion then; the Baccalaureate Service was called for 11 a.m. on Denison Terrace. The actual Commencement was at 6 p.m., same location.
Nick Puner ’64, P’98
If I have one regret about my education at Wesleyan, it’s that I never took a class in acting or film. And I never met Jeanine Basinger. But of course, that doesn’t mean she never taught me. In reading your issue, I just learned that she was the advisor to the College Film Series all those years. Yes, that makes sense. Bravo Jeanine. And thank you from all the students you never knew you had.
LEE MCINTYRE ’84
Correction: In the previous issue, our page highlighting Wesleyan’s Ogden and Mary Louise Reid Cinema Archives neglected to include our thanks to Head Archivist Joan Miller for sharing these treasures and her expertise.