Thursday, 8 April 2010

mamet biting the hand

I never read film books anymore. Not books about film, not films in books, not books about industry. I think I just over-saturated at some point.

So when someone handed me a copy of David Mamet's book Bambi vs. Godzilla, I was distinctly and totally sure that I would never read it.
Product Details
P'shaw. A teeny bout of insomnia had me reaching for something not as dense as the three other very heavy volumes I'm currently reading at a glacial pace. I looked at the book - it's gaudy cover, it's proclamations and thought, "Oh no." But at least, it might prove a sleep aid.

About 2 pages in, I was hooked. The first chapter is about how hard-working the crew is and how the crew puts up with so much meshugas and has the crazy grace to look the other way, do their jobs and make the movie - no matter what.

This book is everything you ever needed to know about the film business. It's also perhaps overly erudite, so you'll need to bring something to the table if you're planning to read it. It rambles along the lines of Mamet's brain and, like a Joe Torre offense, seems to dawdle around occasionally, slowly putting players on base with bunts and walks until Matsui comes in and cleans up with a grand slam.

I'm still reading it, and it has vast potential to become annoying, self-important, meandering, or repetitive. However, I think it will maintain its pacing, vibrancy, self-important mixed with self-deprecating tone, and succinct precise autopsy of the film business to date.

Save yourself the cost of film school if you were planning to go. Read this book until you understand it thoroughly -- it's a quick read, but not if you can't pinpoint his references and logic, but if you can, there's gold in them there hills.

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