A light, engaging behind-the-scenes Hollywood tale.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2013

Unexposed Film

A YEAR ON LOCATION

A breezy memoir of a publicist’s year on Hollywood movie locations.

Harris enjoyed privileged access to the insular world of Hollywood movie productions, and he puts that experience to effective use in this memoir of his work on movies such as Gladiator (2000) and The Perfect Storm (2000). He also effectively depicts the tensions—and temptations—that came with spending months at a time away from his wife and two children. “This is partly my story, partly the story of all of us—gaffers, grips and go-fers alike—who spend our lives traveling with the circus, cleaning up after the elephants, making movies,” he writes. Harris sees his job as a thankless task requiring the patience of Job as he deals with temperamental actors and scoop-hungry reporters. “[P]ublicity is the department that adds the least apparent contribution to making the movie and is therefore an annoyance to everybody,” he admits. In a breezy, engaging style, he captures both the tedium and glamor of the 1999 shoots he worked on, sharing a steady stream of tidbits about actors and others he encountered in the Moroccan desert, Malta, Toronto, Los Angeles and other locations. There’s a terrified Joaquin Phoenix saying of his role in Gladiator, “I can’t do it. I’m just a kid from Florida”; a crew member warning Harris that Russell Crowe always does “some actory thing where he behaves like [his] character”; and Mark Wahlberg’s manager telling the author to make sure that reporters on the set of The Perfect Storm don’t see the actor’s entourage. Perhaps most poignantly, actress Karen Allen confides to Harris, “I didn't really master my craft until I was nearly 40. And by then I was too old for any of the good roles.” The author is less compelling when chronicling the vicissitudes of his marriage; he admits to infidelity and then, after repeatedly affirming his love for his wife, discloses in the epilogue that they divorced in 2005. Men and women “on the bounding boat of location life...all want someone to come home to and we all secretly fear that the life we leave behind might leave us,” he laments.

A light, engaging behind-the-scenes Hollywood tale.

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-1475032437

Page Count: 364

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more