Book #2: Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film, Patton Oswalt

 Hearing Patton Oswalt relate the ways in which his movie-mania could sometimes put a strain on relationships with friends, lovers, and acquaintances brought back memories (not to mention present-day frictions) that were a little too close to home. It doesn't dominate the book, it's just something that hit me in particular. Like The Bad Sleep Well, which I namechecked in my previous post - I love that film so deeply that it's (nearly) impossible for me to understand why everyone wouldn't love it as much as I do. But I can tell you right now, they don't. Which is a good thing to learn if you want to, you know, get along with other people. This memoir is definitely for anyone who's made a lifeline of going to the movies, but it's also a fly-on-the-wall window into the standup comedy scene in Los Angeles in the late nineties - and into comedy in general. The best takeaway for me so far is that it inspired me to go out and rent Blue Collar, a gritty heist-gone-wrong story and first film by Paul Schrader (who wrote Taxi Driver and Raging Bull), who managed to corral Richard Pryor and Harvey Keitel (who apparently hated each other on set) and Yaphet Kotto to tell a working class crime story for which Richard Pryor delivered a performance unlike anything else he ever did. With great use of music by Captain Beefheart, Jack Nitzsche, and Ry Cooder. I know that this book hasn't paid all its rewards just yet, but it was worth reading for the opening credit sequence of Blue Collar alone.