Christopher Silvester

Horrors of Hollywood

Bambi vs Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business


Simon & Schuster 272pp £11.99 order from our bookshop

The message of this book, which is that the movie business has been corrupted, is hardly new, but has it ever been encapsulated so elegantly? It was ‘originally the cosa nostra of arcade hustlers’, says David Mamet, yet they understood the needs and desires of the audience. Now, however, films are ‘being made no longer to attract the audience but to buttress or advance the position of the executive’. In the early days of the movie business, the moguls and producers were buccaneering risk-takers, tricksters, ‘in effect, quasi-criminals’. Since they were predominantly Ashkenazi Jews, originating from within a two-hundred-mile radius of Warsaw, and since ‘Asperger’s syndrome has its highest prevalence among Ashkenazi Jews and their descendants’, Mamet surmises that ‘it is not impossible that Asperger’s syndrome helped make the movies’. In recent times, the movie business has become bureaucratised.

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