February 2006 Archives
“When I come out to southern California in 1937, the area is still undeveloped, so I am granted the boon of being in a new place fresh and brimming and unawakened, at the beginning. There are masses of bougainvillea, Joshua trees and yucca on the hills, a light shining at the door, the scent of orange blossoms in the evening air, honeysuckle and jasmine.... People work in the citrus groves and in the oil fields, but this activity is slight, and by far the largest part of the preoccupation of the city is with the seven or eight motion-picture studios. It is amazing how they cling to the studios here, how the studios dominate all their minds and lives. The studios exude an excitement, a sense of life, a reach and hope, to an extent hard to describe.”
The words above were written by Daniel Fuchs (1909-1993), great uncle of one half of the Film Snob brain trust, David Kamp. Fuchs was that rarest of Hollywood commodities: a guy who languished for much of his adult life in development hell (with only twelve of his screenplays realized as films) and still reveled in the hustle and flow of the picture industry. He liked being Barton Fink (and actually wrote a wrestling picture, though not for Wally Beery), and he loved the old studio machers like Harry Cohn and Jack Warner–the more vulgar the better. Like so few of us today, Great Uncle Dan didn’t feel that life owed him anything, and, by his calculations, he came out ahead. He won one Academy Award, for writing the Doris Day-James Cagney movie Love Me or Leave Me, and never made more than $60,000 a year.
In the spirit of Daniel Fuchs, Messrs. Kamp and Levi now head out to L.A. for book plugeroo–if you’re in the area, be sure to catch our reading at Book Soup on Sunset this Wednesday eve at 7 p.m.–and to take in Oscars week, the greatest of the Hebraic bacchanals, surpassing even Purim.
And in a delicious convergence, visitors to the Amazon link for The Film Snob*s Dictionary will find that Amazon suggests that if you like our book, you might also like Daniel Fuchs’s collection of Hollywood writings The Golden West, from which the lead paragraph of this item was excerpted.February 27, 2006 More Film Snobbery »
’Twas a busy holiday weekend, with David Kamp discussing the differences between Film Snobs and Rock Snobs in an interview with the Boston Globe’s Mark Feeney, and Lawrence Levi outing himself as the man behind the heretofore anonymous Film Snob blog Looker.February 22, 2006 More Film Snobbery »
The Film Snob*s Dictionary goes on sale in bookstores this Tuesday, February 21, and can be ordered via Amazon by clicking on its cover in the sidebar at right. Already, the New York Times and Washington Post have given the book favorable reviews, and we’ve not even yet heard from the Altoona (Pa.) Mirror!February 19, 2006 More Film Snobbery »
In a stunning coup, Mo Pitkin’s, the Heeb-chic restaurant-lounge-cabaret in Manhattan’s East Village, has landed Simon Reynolds, the author of Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984–the best book about music to come out in ages–to preside over a panel discussion of matters postpunkical on February 28. Serving on the panel will be our own Steven Daly (described in the Mo Pitkin’s publicity materials as “drummer & conceptualist in Orange Juice, the celebrated Scottish band”), along with No Wave overlord James Chance and veteran Brit journo Vivien Goldman. Mo Pitkin’s is a tough ticket on any night, so if you want to see our drummer-conceptualist friend Steven hold forth, you'd be wise to book in advance.February 16, 2006 More Rock Snobbery »
The New York Post’s ageless–ageless!–columnist Cindy Adams (above) writes in today’s column that she has read The Film Snob*s Dictionary and doesn’t get why we say that “the only Tom Cruise movie it’s okay for Snobs to like is Ridley Scott’s Legend.”
Cindy, if you even have to ask... but we will say that, for starters, U.S. audiences only got to see the tragically truncated 89-minute version, while the European version ran nearly a half-hour longer. That alone is enough to create a Snob cause célèbre.
As Cindy herself might say, possibly maybe perhaps we just might elaborate on this when the people who elaborate on such things feel like elaborating some more if they're in an elaborating mood. And when the room service people in the Shanghai Mandarin Oriental figure out how to make a simple bagel with a schmear for Joey. Is all we’re saying.February 16, 2006 More Film Snobbery »
Our friend Spike Priggen at Bedazzled! takes a detour from Rock Snobbery to capture this bit of TV trouvée in which the late Gene Siskel and the then-corpulent Roger Ebert bicker in 1987 whilst recording a promo spot for an upcoming episode of their show. In light of Ebert’s condescension towards Siskel, we can see why Vincent Gallo so loathed the bespectacled critic.February 15, 2006 More Film Snobbery »
At long blessed last, this site has been updated to accomodate the imminent publication (on February 21, to be specific) of The Film Snob*s Dictionary. Please visit this area to read a selection of excerpts from the new Snob book, and visit this area for a clinical yet laffical explanation of the phenomenon/pathology known as Film Snobbery. And ornery Film Snobs who’ve read the new book will have their chance to join apoplectic Rock Snobs by writing into the Nitpickers’ Corner part of this site to complain about things we’ve allegedly gotten wrong!
In related news, the co-authors of The Film Snob*s Dictionary, David Kamp and Lawrence Levi, will be appearing for an “in-store event” at Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood on Wednesday, March 1–just one week after Senator Barbara Boxer's appearance in the same store, and just six days prior to Jack Klugman’s to promote his memoir Tony and Me: A Story of Friendship. Well worth visiting L.A. for a fortnight, if you ask us.February 09, 2006 More Film Snobbery »
Spring is arriving early here at Snobsite. After a long period of dormancy, this site is about to sprout a new section devoted to Film Snobbery, in conjunction with the February 21 publication of the Film Snob’s Dictionary. The “Annals” section will accomodate posts related to Snobbery of both the Rock and Film stripes, while the Nitpicker’s Corner will accept Nitpicks from the Harry Knowleses of the world as well as the Greil Marcuses.
In the meantime, let us herald another welcome Web return after a long wintertime absence, the latest chapter of Yacht Rock, in which the plot takes a tangent into Tull.February 03, 2006 More Film Snobbery »