Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hollywood Moguls

I am a huge movie fan, one of those people who enjoys “behind the scenes” DVD extras. So a review of The Men Who Would Be King: an almost epic tale of moguls, movies, and a company called DreamWorks, by Nicole Laporte, has captured my attention and put this book on my must-read list.

The rise and then the crash and burn of DreamWorks, created by three of the biggest egos in Hollywood—Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen—is a gripping saga of changing economic times.... LaPorte, a former film industry reporter for Variety, offers a deliciously detailed look at the trials, triumphs, and fumbles of DreamWorks—from the complicated story behind Shrek, a CGI pioneer, to the courting of stars Nicole Kidman and George Clooney and soothing of Russell Crowe. This unauthorized chronicle of DreamWorks will no doubt seal LaPorte’s status as persona non grata in Hollywood, but readers will love it.” – Booklist

Another book of Hollywood ambition and cut-throat politics can be found in Disney War by James B. Stewart.

"'When You Wish Upon a Star', 'Whistle While You Work', 'The Happiest Place on Earth' - these are lyrics indelibly linked to Disney, one of the most admired and best-known companies in the world. So when Roy Disney, chairman of Disney animation, abruptly resigned in November 2003 and declared war on chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner, he sent shock waves throughout the world. DISNEY WAR is the dramatic inside story of what drove this iconic entertainment company to civil war, told by one of America's most acclaimed journalists." -Publisher

Finally, Showman : the life of David O. Selznick, by David Thomson, takes a look at one of the most controversial movie producers of all time, who was the driving force behind one of the most revered movies of all time, “Gone With the Wind”.

David Selznick (1902-1965) was 20 when his father, a high-rolling silent film producer/distributor, went bankrupt. Bent on fame, wealth and publicity, the precocious son who had served his domineering father as a sorcerer's apprentice would actually surpass his father. In his entertaining, prodigiously researched biography, Thomson characterizes Selznick as an arrogant manipulator, a megalomaniac hooked on Benzedrine, a brash charmer who believed he was pursuing perfection as a noble aim neglected by Hollywood. A walking contradiction, the highly sexed mogul made a pass at nearly every woman he employed but shied away from the erotic on screen. The self-educated high-school dropout produced Anna Karenina, David Copperfield, Dinner at Eight, Gone with the Wind and King Kong. Thomson, a novelist and author of A Biographical Dictionary of Film, has written a scintillating bio that includes glimpses of Garbo, Hepburn, Gable, Olivier, Dietrich, Graham Greene, Alfred Hitchcock and dozens of others. The book follows Selznick's trajectory from expansive creator to suspicious negotiator preoccupied with a fear of failure.” - Publisher Weekly

No comments:

Post a Comment