Bukowski’s book, Hollywood, gives the reader a backstage pass to see how the gears move behind a Hollywood film. Many pieces fit together to line up the financial backers, the writer, the director, all the way down to the movie premiere. From the late nights drinks to make a deal, to the ghetto BBQs, this one digs deep for the unedited glimpse behind the scenes and characters.
Henry ‘Hank’ Chinaski is an alcoholic writer, late in life. Most of his old friends have died from their habits, but his most recent wife, Sarah, has been pushing the health foods and Hank thinks this is the reason he’s outlasting all the other alcoholic writers from his generation. He’s done several novels and poetry, but his friend, Jon Pinchot, a director, is urging him to write a screenplay. Pinchot has some connections, money, which will help it along. What would an alcoholic novelist write a movie about?… His glory days of course. The dirty bars, the seedy motels and apartments, the women, the fist fights. Hank barely believes his movie will amount to much of anything, but the eager support of Pinchot has him playing along. Financial backing appears and disappears, actors want their own directors, production companies withhold payments and threaten to shut down the movie. Pinchot takes matters into his own hands when Firepower Productions tries to back them into a corner by refusing to release the movie deal while they also refuse to make the movie. Finally the day of the big premiere, and Hank gets to relive the good ol’ days.
What does a writer do when his first screenplay is developed into a mildly successful movie? Write a novel about writing the screenplay, of course!