Mamet's non-fiction book on the movie business is one big piece of sheer cynicism – and intellectual superiority. Be prepared. A true cinema buff like myself, I was humbled by the vast amount of names and movies I have missed entirely or haven't seen at best. And many things I didn't know – well, I don't know some of them still.
The book is smart, but it ain't an easy ride. When you have every line as a punch line, I tend to miss a few punches. Like some say, your brain is a muscle, and here you are forced to train it.
The most interesting part – the section on Genre. You can read all the Cinema Scope, Sight & Sound, Искусство Кино, etc etc – but this bit is obligatory reading for all the movie zombies like me. You could've skipped War and Piece at school (like I did, miraculously), but you mustn't miss this.
If the shark makes us say “ooh”, it has earned our few dollars. If the filmmaker can make us say “ooh” of a shot of the empty water, give him his private plane.
The observed rule in Hollywood is: “Feel free to treat everyone like scum, for if the desire something from you, they'll just have to put up with it, and should they rise to wealth and power, any past civility shown towards them will either be forgotten or remembered as some aberrant and contemptible display of weakness.”
Smith is one funny bastard, that I have to agree. The guy who brought Clerks less than 20 years ago on an unbelievable $27k budget, having passed through the guts and glory of show biz, he still hasn't lost it. Well, hasn't lost it entirely, at least.
The book is about him – well, who else? Childhood in NJ, convenience store clerk job, Clerks, Sundance, Harvey Weinstein, bigger budgets, go-go-go.
Key highlights of the book – Kev's way into the movies, Bruce Willis who turned out to be a total primadonna jerk (reading Cop Out shooting notes was fun fun fun), and Kev's true story about Too Fat To Fly incident.
While going through the book I realized I had missed Smith's last movie, a messy action thriller called Red State – watched it immediately, gripping stuff. Smith claims Quentin loved it. I'm not surprised.
To finish, a small piece of wisdom from our one and only Silent Bob
People need to be regularly reminded that they began as cum. Not to diminish or cut 'em down to size – quite the contrary: I tell people they were cum once as a gesture of my awe at their very existence and to pat 'em on the back. There are no losers in life because every one of us who is born is a huge fucking winner.
Whenever someone tells me I'm fat, I tell 'em I wasn't always: Apparently, at one point in my life, I was fit enough to out-swim a legion of sperm. And now, like any past-their-prime athlete, I'm enjoying the good life: I hoisted my Cup already, so at this point, fuck off and lemme enjoy bacon and brownies (maybe even together).