Forget everything you've heard about Hollywood. What Just Happened: Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line is the real deal. In Art Linson's true and uproarious tale of what it is to make movies, we get to explore, at close range, finicky directors, clueless executives, shameless marketers, famous actors, battered screenwriters, and hapless ...
Forget everything you've heard about Hollywood. What Just Happened: Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line is the real deal. In Art Linson's true and uproarious tale of what it is to make movies, we get to explore, at close range, finicky directors, clueless executives, shameless marketers, famous actors, battered screenwriters, and hapless producers crossing paths in such calamitous ways that it's a miracle these films get made at all. Whether he's trying to persuade an executive that Gwyneth Paltrow has enough chin to carry the lead in a movie, forcing an enraged Alec Baldwin to shave off his mountain-man beard, discussing ankle hair loss with Dustin Hoffman, or sitting through an excruciating reading of a David Mamet script as Robert DeNiro toys with the notion of heading up the cast, Linson gives us a brutally honest, funny, and comprehensive tour through the horrors of Hollywood, from script to screen. If you love the movies or not, you won't be able to resist the stories behind them. You also won't be able to resist Linson, a born story-teller whose wicked sense of humor leaves nobody safe-not even himself.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-04-22 In this latest addition to the spate of Hollywood tell-alls, the producer of The Untouchables and Fight Club details the planning, handholding and power games involved in making movies. Each film brings its own problems, which Linson recounts in sardonic discussions of his own less-than-boffo features, including Pushing Tin and Great Expectations (the 1998 remake). His account of The Edge is particularly remarkable, as it demonstrates the difficulties of putting together a deal (De Niro had a problem with fighting a fake bear), placating the stars (Alec Baldwin didn't want to shave his beard) and finding a title (The Bear and the Brain was a contender, as was the screenwriter's choice, Bookworm). Linson's insights into why some movies fail are revealing: no one wants to see John Cusack naked (which explains Pushing Tin), for one, and you don't stand a chance if an earlier, bigger release (Titanic) uses the same erotic scene as your movie (Great Expectations). To hear Linson tell it, it's a jungle out there, with loads of fussy, nave, brazen and unlucky monkeys swinging from the trees. He reels out one conversation after another, unearthing the bar banter, telephone exchanges and studio tte--ttes that reveal just how much quibbling goes on behind the scenes. Although Linson's book lacks the polish of William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade or the all-around savvy of Peter Bart and Peter Guber's Shoot Out, it provides a decent bird's-eye view on what a producer actually does and the pressures it involves. (May) Forecast: An excerpt in this month's Vanity Fair, blurbs from Sean Penn and Peter Biskind and author promos in New York and L.A. will help this one land on film groupies' shelves. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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