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.

new review/highlight

Monsieur Appleby over at the nifty Rushmore Academy blog, which focuses on all things Wes Andersonian, informed me last night that my first book, Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood’s Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists and Dreamers (Kamera Books), was highlighted over at David Hudson’s The Daily blog at IFC.com.  Pretty cool, I think.  The mention there is due to a new lengthy review of the book (which I did know about) in the latest online issue of the always interesting Bright Lights Film Journal.  And if you head over there to read the review, make sure to check out the reviews for Richard Brody’s stellar book on Godard, Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard, director Michel Gondry’s book You’ll Like This Book Because You’re In It: A Be Kind Rewind Protocol, a new book on cult exploitation director Jack Hill (Spider Baby!), and what looks like a great book on the much maligned but sturdy Epic film genre (a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine) by Jeffrey Richards.

rex reed plunges into a charlie kaufman “cesspool”

New York Observer film critic Rex Reed, whose overwrought verbiage and sloppy analysis makes Armond White seem lucid and well… sane, tells us all what he thinks of Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York.

Considering his loathing of Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, et al, I’m sure he’ll love my book about said filmmakers.

You can be assaulted by Reed’s review here.  Be warned, though, to wear protective goggles.

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.