- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Printing - First Thus edition (September 11, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743216245
- ISBN-13: 978-0743216241
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,968,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Film Flam: Essays on Hollywood Paperback – September 11, 2001
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William Murray The New York Times Book Review These pieces are very well written, witty, and, on the whole, vastly entertaining...Unlike too many literary people, Mr. McMurtry has few illusions about Hollywood and he is not kind to the place. He finds it full of "self-praise, defensiveness, insecurity, and megalomania." Larry McMurtry is my kind of moviegoer.
About the Author
Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lives in Archer City, Texas.
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I especially enjoyed the essays on books turned into movies, and I think I enjoyed (the verdict may still be out on this) the essay on his weekend at the movies at Times Square. Especially intriguing were the erudite moments of philosophy on art and truth and the sad, but also rather humorous descriptions of the banal activities found in Hollywood. Ironically, McMurtry remains fairly self-critical of his own books, a humility not often found among popular writers, and somewhat pragmatic about his own place in the literary world. These elements jump out pretty regularly in Film Flam, making it a kind of brutal and honest diatribe of movies and people's reactions to them.
What I am wrestling with is why I didn't really enjoy this book that much? What should and could have been an opportunity to reveal secrets of the film industry, and a hard, edgy realistic look at exploitation of writers, actors, producers, and audience members seemed to be simply a series of McMurtry opinions that while fascinating in their own right, have a quality of disconnect without profundity.
Still, in spite of its disappointments, it is worth reading and rather fun in a dark, cynical way.