The Last Sellout

Shadow of the Dahlia

The Big Switch

The Deal Killer

Dirty Work

Munchies & Other Tales

A Place Called Hollywood

Bio & Assorted Stuff

 

 

 

JackBludis.com


A PLACE CALLED HOLLYWOOD

          Hollywood is a place that does not now nor has it ever existed. Yet, it is a place will exist forever in our minds. The sign fell into disrepair, but it was resurrected to advertise the dream. They still make movies there, or nearby, but they are not the same. They are more expensive than ever, and to some people they are better than ever--but not to all of us. To many, the old days are the best days. To others, these will become the old days.

          Hollywood is a place of titles and names and images: The Birth of a Nation, Gone With the Wind, Titanic; Rudolph Valentino, Joan Crawford, Harrison Ford; a chariot race, a stage coach attacked by Indians, a roaring lion--other icons too numerous mention. It is sometimes called "the Dream Factory," but the dream is all too short for most of the dreamers, and to some the dreams become nightmares. Yet, there is something that draws us to it as surely as gravity.

          The movies! Or are they motion pictures? Or flicks? Or films? Whatever we call them, they allow us to share a life and an adventure for an hour or two, often even longer. Like a great stage play and the best books, the experience may last a lifetime. 

          There are stories about Hollywood in books and movies. A Star is Born was good enough to be filmed three times. The Bad and the Beautiful told of the cruelty of the men at the top. F.Scott Fitzgerald told the similar story in his book, The Last Tycoon.

          Raymond Chandler beat around Los Angeles in the Fifties. James Ellroy and Robert Crais do it now. Stuart Kaminsky invents entertaining stories involving real stars. I invent stories about composite and roman a clef characters with the stars looking on or passing through, and only occasionally, joining in.

What is it about Hollywood that makes writers want to tell the stories about the place? And what makes readers want to live it vicariously? I don't think it is just the stories on the screen that we want, but the stories inside the sound stages, and on the back lots, and in the dressing rooms and mansions of the players.

It might be that we secretly want to be a part of the dream without risking our souls?

Or do we risk our souls by our very interest?

                                                          ---Jack Bludis 

 

Significant Novels about Hollywood:

The Day of the Locusts, Nathaniel West
The Last Tycoon, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Blonde, Joyce Carrol Oates
The Carpetbaggers
, Harold Robbins
L.A. Confidential, James Ellroy