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Bambi vs. Godzilla : on the nature, purpose, and practice of the movie business
David Mamet
Adult Nonfiction PN1993.5.U6 M244 2007

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Mamet's a veteran screenwriter and director (currently producing The Unit for CBS), but that doesn't mean he has any great love for the industry-his Hollywood is the stereotypically corrupt and cutthroat world where screenwriters willingly change their stories to accommodate every stupid suggestion from producers, who are blatantly lining their own pockets, while stars bicker over who has the bigger trailer. But his stories are entertaining even when they're unsurprising, and though loosely organized, a few broad themes emerge. He expounds at length, for example, upon his well-known penchant for straightforward storytelling, where drama boils down to "the creation and deferment of hope," and every scene should be able to answer three questions: "Who wants what from whom? What happens if they don't get it? Why now?" At other times, he's happy simply to explain why he thinks Laurence Olivier was a terrible film actor or to test out a theory that the early film industry owes its development to Eastern European Jews with Asperger's syndrome. As usual with Mamet, each word is precisely chosen for maximum effect, and nearly all hit their mark. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Famed playwright, screenwriter, and director Mamet (On Directing Film) takes a not-very-detached look at the industry to which he has contributed (e.g., Oleanna, The Spanish Prisoner, Wag the Dog, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Glengarry Glen Ross). Although critically well received for the most part, Mamet's movies have tended to be too arcane for the general film-going public. Here, he provides practical tips drawn from his own experiences on such topics as acting and screenwriting and the "three questions" a writer must answer ("Who wants what from whom?"; "What happens if they don't get it?"; and "Why now?"). But this is not a how-to book for hopeful screenwriters or other Hollywood wannabes; instead, it is a somewhat scattershot look at all aspects of cinema that personally interest Mamet-and not necessarily in a good way. As such, it makes for quite a readable trip through his wit and wisdom, which can be considerable. However, whether he considers himself Bambi or Godzilla in the Hollywood jungle is an open question. Recommended for general collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/06.]-Roy Liebman, Los Angeles P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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