Book Review : Bambi vs. Godzilla
By David Mamet
I picked up this book with such high hopes This post was automatically imported from my old sandfly.net.nz blog. It may look a little weird since it was not originally written for this format.. David Mamet is justly famous for writing some excellent movies (proof), some of which were excellent plays. He may also have written excellent books, but if so this is not one of them.
Hollywood is full of stories of the soulless studio system destroying artistic merit, stripping the spark-plugs in the whole engine (the writers) of credit and fair monetary reward - witness the current writers strike in America. I was hoping for a tell-all book with vitriolic anecdotes singeing the page, the blurb promises as much. What I got was a collection of light essays on various facets of the movie business, almost like a series of casual blog entries. Some of the essays are quite good, but many are average and they tend to repeat themes after a while. Even when describing the few ways in which the Hollywood system has screwed him over, the author maintains his professionalism and refuses to name names.
All this make for some fairly dull reading. If you really want some good dirt (and advice) from a big shot Hollywood writer, check out this series of columns, they are much more entertaining.
Recommended only for serious film students wishing to get some references on film archetypes.