Dear Great Book Guru, My friends and I are having great fun with our film discussion group and your suggestions for book/movie combinations have been very helpful. Now we are thinking of reading something about present time movie production. Any thoughts? Film Fan
Dear Film Fan, I recently read COMPLICIT by Winnie M Li - a fascinating look at the underbelly of the Hollywood moving making industry. Sarah is a thirty-seven-year-old teacher of screenwriting at an obscure college in New York City and we meet her as she is preparing for an interview with New York Times reporter Tom Gallagher to discuss her past career as a film producer. We immediately sense that things had not ended well in Hollywood and the series of interviews that follow confirm this. The daughter of Chinese immigrant parents who own a successful restaurant in Queens, Sarah was a cinephile since childhood and after graduating with honors from Columbia University, was eager to work in the film industry, much to her parents’ dismay. A lawyer, doctor, accountant… these would please her family. When she gets an internship with a small production company, she quickly makes herself indispensable. So, when billionaire investor Hugo North becomes part owner, she inexorably moves into the Hollywood world of glitter and greed. Sarah sees the newspaper interviews as a way to right the wrongs she has endured, but she slowly begins to question her role in the downfall of many of her colleagues. A very thought-provoking study of personal responsibility - highly recommended!