John Boehner: The Buckaroo Banzai Connection | Street Jazz

John Boehner: The Buckaroo Banzai Connection

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Though the phonetic pronunciation House Minority Leader John Boehner’s last name is, well, a word we all knew and loved in Junior High school, the correct pronunciation,  as we are constantly reminded by TV pundits,  is “BAY-ner.”

This always reminds me of the character  John Bigboote (played by Christopher Lloyd), in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, whose name is continually mispronounced as “Big Booty,” to which he responds furiously:

“Big Bootay! Big Bootay!”

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Buckaroo Banzai March

And speaking of that great film, shame on the Sci Fi Channel for running credits over the wonderful Buckaroo Banzai March at the end of the movie, every time it runs.

Of course, the Sci Fi Channel - or whatever name they will be calling themselves next week - has the same mind set as so many other networks.  Where the viewer sees a a way to relax, or something to enjoy, they see something called Video Real Estate.

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Quote of the Day

I am an artist, and should be exempt from shit. - P.J. Proby

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Hoist with their own petard . . .

Recently, my adventure to turn my novel into a screenplay turned into a quest to find books on screen writing. One of the books that fell my way was this interesting one by Joe Eszterhaz, who has written one  of my favorite moves (F.I.S.T.), more than a few blockbusters, and a few real stinkers. Yes, I sought guidance from the man responsible for Showgirls and Jade.

Go figure.

The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God! is not your typical "how-to" guide. Not a book on how to write a screenplay, it is more a guide to the hidden world of film-making that we never read about anywhere else.

Eszterhaz writes about writer's block, screen credit, and the fine art of negotiating with powerful morons. Said morons include studio heads, actors and directors, among others.

Eszterhaz has a list of his heroes, men and women who stand up to those who would mangle their words and destroy what they are trying to say. But he also has a list of those he clearly despises, those who seem to knuckle under and suck up for the sheer pleasure of doing so. Chief among these seems to be William Goldman, who is quoted at length.

Truth to tell, the creator of Showgirls has quite a few axes to grind - and he has the quotes handy to make all of his targets look like the horse's asses he wants us to believe they are. They are, in effect, hoist with their own petards.

One of the targets of his ire is Robert McKee, a man who makes a living giving seminars on script-writing - but has very little to show for himself in terms of actual writing success. Nevertheless, McKee comes across as one of those blowhards who charges you money for the opportunity to strut about the stage like a hammy actor, snarling at those who dare ask
him questions.

The contempt for McKee drips off the page; it is highly entertaining to read. If McKee is half the bully he comes across as, he richly deserves the treatment he gets.

But as entertaining - and informative - as The Devil's Guide to Hollywood is, I got tired of reading of the sexual exploits of the men of Hollywood. And it's the guys who come across as the sexual winners in the book; women are seduced, or perform sex acts to move their careers forward.

To put it mildly, Feminism and Joe Eszterhas don't make good traveling companions.

Then again, I was reading a book by the guy who wrote Showgirls. I should have known what I was getting myself into.

Still, if I do succeed in turning my own book into a screenplay, thanks to Eszterhas, I'll have little better idea of how to make my way through that Hollywood maze.

And I'll know enough to steer clear of Robert McKee.

rsdrake@nwark.com

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