Popcorn: Hollywood Stories Paperback – Sep 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Inspirational author, journalist and ex-screenwriter Cameron, best known for her perennially bestselling creativity bible, The Artist's Way, delivers with exactitude on her title in the 18 nonnutritious stories that compose this frothy foray into Tinseltown. A star identified only as Our Heroine switches sexual preferences as expediency dictates; a studio head seeks approval from the inspirational and quite verbal ghost of Walt Disney; a director is willing to cover up a starlet's murder of her mobster boyfriend so the show can go on; a literary agent prefers to work for dead clients; a director and his memoir-writing wife do a "he said/she said" riff on why he's been exiled to the Roman Hills following allegations by a 14-year-old actress's stage motherAthese are a sampling of the situations that structure these heavily character-driven tales. In an author's note, Hollywood insider Cameron designates her stories as "'friction'Athe abrasion of reality against dream," and claims, "None of them is true, but all are accurate." Still, the chief fun in this acidic collection lies in trying to guess which real-life star each awful character might be modeled on. The shorter stories are mere teasing kernels and the longer ones are too empty and pat, given to such nonepiphanies as a magazine editor's awakening to the notion that Steven Spielberg has talent. While the arch writing can be diamond sharp, vacuous characters whining about the isolation of fame, coping with the inevitable substance-abuse problems and spouting egotistic bombast leave the reader jaded and cynical by the time the lights go up. Author tour. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Author
I have lived my life at the movies. At the Liberty Palace with its swirled red velvet walls and creaky, cracked leather seats. At the Greenbay Theater, one town over, across the line, with it smell of stale perfume and popcorn, the odor of sex and sin.
Thats where I saw my first B-movie, as defined by the Catholic Church Legion of Decency. That is where the church and I parted company, right in the balcony. Sandra Dee gave her virginity to Troy Donahue and I gave mine to the movies.
For a woman of fallen virtue, I have been faithful. For two decades now I have written for and about the movies. The stories in this book are all my story. None of them is true, but all are accurate. I am a movie person, a movie writer. Its not so much a matter of character as of characters.
"You are a ventriloquist," a movie man once told me.
Maybe I am, but Id have said I was the puppet and the movies made me dance.
What I will tell you is that Ive danced with Sammy Davis, Jr. and made pasta for Bernardo Bertolucci. Ive dined with Mr. Cukor and spent a stormy afternoon listening to Mr. Kurosawa say that not making movies almost killed him. In some other life, I will ask them if they remember. In this life, they were the stars and I was the bit player. Just as in "Mystic Canyon," I rounded out the scene.
The truth is, I made these stories up -- or they made me up. You might call them "fiction" or "friction" -- the abrasion of reality against dream. I suspect you will know some of these people and love some of them. So did I.
Taos, New Mexico