April 7, 2007
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Bambi vs. Godzilla

by David Mamet

A fine writer, a fine director, and my favorite prose stylist: David Mamet is a treasure. This is his second book this year. I expected to dislike The Wicked Child. I did. I expected to like Bambi vs. Godzilla, and it was indeed a very pleasant way to spend an evening or two. Much of what Mamet says here, he has already covered; this book's essay on "The Jew in Hollywood" is not, I think, quite as good as "The Jew For Export" in Mamet's Make-Believe Town. Mamet's denunciation of that personification of greed and perfidy, the producer, is more complete here than in his On Directing Film, but not necessarily to greater effect. His observations on acting will be familiar to readers of True and False. What’s really best here are the most gritty and technical discussions, a pean to craft workers on the set, an exploration of artifice in film making and the eternal question: how did they get the cat to do that?