Prisoner of Hollywood

Walter Kirn in the New York Times Book Review:

Kirn450Why most Hollywood movies stink is a big question, but why we go on eagerly inhaling them is a bigger one. David Mamet thinks he knows the answer. In “Bambi vs. Godzilla,” a collection of tough-minded essays about the film business, the award-winning playwright turned screenwriter and director posits a “repressive mechanism” to account for our appetite for dramas that have ceased to be dramatic and entertainments that barely entertain. “The very vacuousness of these films is reassuring,” he writes, comparing them to the expensive weapons systems whose presence makes us feel secure in other ways. These filmed extravaganzas send the message that “you are a member of a country, a part of a system capable of wasting $200 million on an hour and a half of garbage. You must be somebody.”

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