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What Just Happened?: Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line Paperback – 1 Sep 2003
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' A must-read for anyone involved in - or considering getting involved in - moviemaking' -- Vanity Fair
'...every bit as caustic, funny and humble as the title suggests.' -- Empire
'Linson sings of Hollywood in a low gutteral animal wail, alternately hysterical, biting, humiliating, and wise' -- Sean Penn
'Linson's candid confessional is the bastard offspring of William Goldman and Joe Queenan' -- Uncut
'Wickedly funny ... it's the best users' manual to Hollywood I know.' -- Peter Biskind
About the Author
ART LINSON was born in Chicago and grew up in Hollywood. He has been producing movies for twenty-four years, and his credits include The Untouchables, Heat, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Scrooged, Fight Club, and Heist. In 1995, he published his first book, A Pound of Flesh: Perilous Tales of How to Produce Movies in Hollywood
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The book lacks any real structure - it is a bit of ramble around events that occurred while producing The Edge, Great Expectations and Fight Club. The book is not long on substance either - you do not learn a lot about Hollywood or even Art Linson.
However, if you are familiar with the films and are comfortable with the fact that much of the book is written as dialogue then there is much to enjoy. There were many moments that made me laugh and/or smile.
What makes it appealing is the fact that the author is, not was, a bona fide, highly successful producer still working at the top of the Hollywood tree.
The structure works well - without giving anything away, Art Linson ties his anecdotal tales together within a conversation he is having with 'Jerry', a former studio head with a very sadistic sense of humour, someone who, now a nobody in Hollywood, is taking great delight in Linson's struggles, and I find this structure works very well.
The stories themselves are humorous (not laugh-out-loud hilarious, but that's not the intention), interesting and engaging, but most of all, insightful - a true behind the scenes peek into the crazy business of show with a Hollywood veteran.
So if you share a fascination with Hollywood, as I do, then this is a great little book to add to Bill Goldman's, Lawrence Turman, Ed Epstein, Jerry Weintraub's etc. books on the fascinating business that is Hollywood.
Mercifully, it's also very short - you quickly realise that the print is quite large, and there's rather a lot of 'white space'. I got through it in about 2 hours.
Summary? Like candyfloss - all sweet promise and no satisfaction.
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