burn hollywood burn

hollywood

The Hollywood dream factory has always sold bullshit to the eager masses.  Some years are worse than others, some decades shine brighter with genuine talent and provocative films.  And sometimes, if the stars are right… real art may be conjured.

I’m talking mainstream, commercial films here, just so we’re clear.  Films made by the major studios.  There’s just as much garbage in the pseudo-indie sphere as well and the genuine independent arena is a whole other matter.  But junk is junk and it exists anywhere and everywhere.

But screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman thinks the situation in Hollywood is dire and getting worse.  I can’t argue that it’s a depressing situation.  Do we really need another superhero movie?  Have the studios simply given up on making films for adults?

But I’ll hold out for some sort of creative resurgence.  There’s no arguing that the current model of film distribution (just like in the music industry) is antiquated, oppressive, and in need of restructuring.  The major studios are dinosaurs and seemingly lumbering into the tar pits.  Though haven’t they always been that way?

When we least expect it, a new wave always comes crashing down.  The last time young filmmakers infiltrated the ranks of the studios (ten years ago) we saw the arrival of Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson, and others.  None of them make blockbusters, of course.  But most of the films they created did make money while furthering the medium in artistic ways.

So I hold out hope.  For now.

Perhaps Kaufman will figure a way to write himself (and us) out of this narrative purgatory.

You can read Kaufman’s comments here.

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interview with me over at the rushmore academy

Now that my book, Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood’s Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists and Dreamers, is out in the US, Edward Appleby over at The Rushmore Academy has conducted an interview with me for the site.  There should also be a trivia question/book giveaway coming up soon as well, so keep checking back over there for a chance to win a free copy of my book.

I realize I’ve been a bit slack putting up any new posts… but that’ll change in the next day or so.  See you all then!

interview with me over at moon in the gutter

Jeremy Richey, proprietor of the groovy Moon in the Gutter blog, was gracious enough to invite me to participate in a Q & A session and help spread the word about my new book which is now out in the US.  Well, Amazon is selling it.  Other bookstores–brick and mortar as well as virtual–should have it available on September 1.

guest blogging over at the rushmore academy

Monsieur Appleby from the nifty Wes Anderson fan site The Rushmore Academy has graciously invited me to guest blog a few pieces about… well, Wes Anderson of course!  Anderson, along with Richard Linklater, David O. Russell, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, and Michel Gondry are the subjects of my new book.

Hope to see you over there!

http://www.rushmoreacademy.com/2008/07/06/guest-blogger-derek-hill-on-wes-anderson

charlie kaufman and hollywood’s merry band of pranksters, fabulists and dreamers: an excursion into the american new wave

My first book is out today in the UK! It will be published in the United States in September.

It’s a study of contemporary (mostly) American filmmakers Richard Linklater, David O. Russell, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Spike Jonze, and Michel Gondry. There are a few other surprises inside, as well, such as a look at Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko, Steven Soderbergh’s Schizopolis, PT Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, and Roman Coppola’s CQ.

My hope is that it will appeal to film lovers of all stripes, from those with a more scholarly bent to the pop-culture subgeniuses to the novices who don’t know their Godard from their Gondry.

The book is available from the usual suspects, including here.