Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Books · Hollywood Tell-Alls - Again
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Hollywood Tell-Alls - Again

Nancy Sundstrom - February 12th, 2003
Curling up with a hot tell-all about Hollywood isn‘t a bad way to pass a cold winter‘s night, and there are a few new ones out there that fit the bill quite nicely.

“Hollywood Animal: A Memoir“ by Joe Eszterhas
Hands down, this is the most entertaining of the bunch, and certainly the most outrageous. If his name doesn‘t ring a bell, then some of his credits should. Eszterhas has a reputation as a highly overpaid and moderately talented scribe who has made an indelible contribution to world culture with screenplays like “Basic Instinct,“ “Jade,“ “Jagged Edge,“ “Flashdance“ and, most notably, “Showgirls.“ As a result, he‘s become both the most famous - and infamous - scribe in Hollywood.
To get to that point, all of which is brought to quite a climax in this “raw, spine-chilling celebration of the human spirit,“ Eszterhas lays out his early years, which began in post-WWII refugee camps in Europe before coming to the United States in search of the American dream. Once here, he wasted no time before learning to steal cars and roll drunks. His saga has every cliche in the book, and as he battles his way to the “top“ to become the first screenwriter to be chosen as one of the movie industry‘s 100 Most Powerful People, he is seen as everything from a modern-day Shakespeare to the devil incarnate.
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, and Eszterhas, as presented by Eszerthas is a “complex and paradoxical figure“ - a devout churchgoer who purveyed new lows for gratuitous sex and violence in films. Along with the late producer Don Simpson and former bad boy Charlie Sheen, Eszterhas became a symbol of Hollywood excess and depravity. Redemption is always possible, though, and the end of this often jaw-dropping memoir finds the writer moving his family to Ohio, where they can all happily immerse themselves in the Midwestern lifestyle and values he says are at the core of his being.
Sometimes hilarious and sometimes excruciating (especially for some of the subjects in the book like Sharon Stone, who rewarded Eszterhas with a night of passion as a thank you for his crafting her the role of a lifetime), there are also a number of chapters that prove insightful and revealing on the inner workings of the movie industry. All in all, not a bad way to pass the time, but a real must for filmophiles who thought they‘d pretty much heard it all.

“Hollywood, Interrupted“ by Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner
Bretitbart and Ebner‘s book is due out at the end of the month, but insiders have been buzzing about it for some time now, and given some of the world‘s recent, incessant, obsessive preoccupation with celebs and scandals that range from Bennifer and Michael Jackson to Paris Hilton and Janet Jackson, the timing seems right for a book dedicated to the often bizarre behavior on the part of celebrities and why the rest of us are so fascinated by it.
Until it is published on February 24, we‘ll just have to wait in anticipation, but in the meantime, here is what the authors are promising us, courtesy of the book description on its back jacket:
“‘Hollywood, Interrupted‘ is a sometimes frightening, occasionally sad, and frequently hysterical odyssey into the darkest realms of showbiz pathology, the endless stream of meltdowns and flameouts, and the inexplicable behavior on the part of show business personalities.
Charting celebrities from rehab to retox, to jails, cults, institutions, near-death experiences and the Democratic Party, ‘Hollywood, Interrupted‘ takes readers on a surreal field trip into the amoral belly of the entertainment industry. Each chapter -- covering topics including warped Hollywood child-rearing, bad medicine, hypocritical political maneuvering and the complicit media -- delivers a meticulously researched, interview-infused, attitude heavy dispatch which analyzes and deconstructs the myths created by the celebrities themselves.
Celebrities somehow believe that it‘s their god-given right to inflict their pathology on the rest of us. ‘Hollywood, Interrupted‘ illustrates how these dysfunctional dilettantes are mad as hell... And we‘re not going to take it any more.“

“Natalie Wood: A Life“ by Gavin Lambert
With at least two other respectable biographies in the form of “Natasha“ by Suzanne Finstad, and Lana Wood‘s “Natalie: A Memoir by Her Sister“ having already been written, more than a few raised eyebrows about yet another take being offered up on Wood‘s short, turbulent life. In his defense, though, Lambert, a screenwriter with a number of other Hollywood biographies to his credit, seems to have real affection and sensitivity for his subject, and does offer some new perspectives on her, particularly in regards to some of her career choices.
While not one of her immediate circle, Lambert did know Wood well after she starred in the 1965 film of his novel “Inside Daisy Clover,“ and their friendship lasted 25 years. The story he tells is one of a genuinely talented actress who never knew a life beyond Hollywood, and because of that, had vulnerabilities, insecurities, demons and addictions that all ultimately played a role in her untimely death by drowning in 1981.
Perhaps because more time has passed since the other books were written, those contributing to Lambert‘s book seem to speak very freely and provide new information here, which gives this work its depth. Even notoriously reticent interviewees like actor Warren Beatty, director Paul Mazursky and actress Leslie Caron lend some valuable contributions here, making it a well-crafted, respectful tale of a star who knew the depths of despair as well as she did the height of success.

“Pictures“ by Jeff Bridges
While not a tell-all, this impressive collection of photographs, compiled by one of the Hollywood‘s most respected and talented actors, provides a unique and compelling look at the industry from an insider‘s perspective. Bridges has been taking on-set photos since the 1980s with a Widelux camera, an oddity because it has no shutter or viewfinder, but allows for panoramic images (about the same aspect as a widescreen film) and even for quick-moving subjects to appear twice on the same negative. The wide field, for example, can show an actor and director foreground while the crew is featured in another part of the print, all of which makes for photos that are rich in composition.
Fans of Bridges and his array of fine films, such as “The Last Picture Show,“ “Starman,“ “The Big Lebowski,“ “The Contender“ and “Seabiscuit,“ to name a few, are in for a real treat. Priceless and personal moments from those films are documented here, along with a host of Hollywood‘s finest actors and directors, and in defining his own style as a photographer, Bridges has captured images that show how he perceives the business he works in and those he admires who work alongside him. He also provides a hand-written commentary and captions throughout. There is yet one more reason to feel good about buying the book - proceeds from its sales are being donated to The Motion Picture & Television Fun, a non-profit organization that offers charitable care and support to film-industry workers. Isn‘t that about what we‘ve come to expect from Jeff Bridges?


 
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