I just finished flying through Rebels on the Backlot by Sharon Waxman. It chronicles “six maverick directors and how they conquered the Hollywood studio system” — essentially, how against all odds a slew of quality films got made in the mid-late ’90’s. Waxman focuses on Quetin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), David Fincher (Fight Club), P.T. Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia), Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), Steven Soderbergh (Traffic), and David O. Russell (Three Kings). But I could’ve done without the latter two. All good, important movies but would’ve been better had the author swapped out Soderbergh and Russell for Wes Andersen and Richard Linklater (or Sam Mendes). These guys get mentions but it’s not enough. Still a very good, interesting book and recommended for any film fan (drastically helps if you’ve actually seen the movies in question).
“We’re an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes; working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history – no purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our Great War is a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives.”
– Tyler Durden