In “Bambi vs. Godzilla,” David Mamet, the award-winning playwright and screenwriter, gives us an exhilaratingly subversive inside look at Hollywood from the perspective of a filmmaker who has always played the game his own way.
Who really reads the scripts at the film studios? How is a screenplay like a personals ad? Whose opinion matters when revising a screenplay? Why are there so many producers listed in movie credits? And what the hell do those producers do, anyway? Refreshingly unafraid to offend, Mamet provides hilarious, surprising, and bracingly forthright answers to these and other questions about virtually every aspect of filmmaking, from concept to script to screen.
He covers topics ranging from “How Scripts Got So Bad” to the oxymoron of “Manners in Hollywood.” He takes us step-by-step through some of his favorite movie stunts and directorial tricks, and demonstrates that it is craft and crew, not stars and producers, that make great films. He tells us who his favorite actors and what his favorite movies are, who he thinks is the most perfect actor to grace the screen, and who he thinks should never have appeared there.
Demigods and sacred cows of the movie business-beware! But for the rest of us, Mamet speaking truth to Hollywood makes for searingly enjoyable reading.