Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Inflight reading - Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

Traveling solo with three kids normally means no reading. So of course, I ply mine with chapter books, crayons, sticker books, comic books, comic book compilations, Indiana Jones DVDs and whatever nature documentaries and Disney Treasures I feel like bringing. This means I get to do more than scan the Sky Mall catalog.

In this case, I got through a good piece of the awesome Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind. Biskind gives you everything. Your high minded brain gets the history of the revival of American cinema in the early 70s, capsule histories of key films, a sense of how movies get made, and a sense for the titanic amounts of money that slosh around. Your low minded brain gets the salacious details of life in Hollywood. You learn about Dennis Hopper's insane relationships with his wives (handcuffing them to keep them from leaving is a short term play at best) and others. The wild sex lives and the casualness with which they treat other people will shock.

One revelation, among many, is that the great directors of the 70s (Coppola, Scorsese, Friedken, Polanski, etc) were nearly all complete and total bastards. If they weren't stealing your wife, they were stealing your money and burning your career down to the ground. They rode over anyone in their path and they expected a thank you or a blow job as payment. I'm having to do some serious separating the art from the artist stuff in my mind. Otherwise I may have to go break some DVDs. That just wouldn't do.

Great book. Read it immediately if you like movies.

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