Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas's Hollywood Animal: A Memoir made today's L.A. Times bestseller list at #4, he's scheduled to appear Monday on KPCC's "Talk of the City" with Kitty Felde (on the same show where Michael Deaver talks about his Nancy Reagan book), and on the LAT op-ed page he pens a Dear Michael letter to Disney's Michael Eisner.
The truth is that we both contributed to the success of "Flashdance." I wrote the script; you (and Jeff Katzenberg) cut 40% of it out of the movie. But then you stood up in front of a room full of Teamsters and gaffers and showed them the screen tests of three young women and asked them which one they wanted to sleep with. And Jennifer Beals won the vote and was cast.
I've always admired the moxie of that, and the reason I'm writing you this note is because I want to help you continue to run Disney. The reason I want to help you is because A) you didn't cheat me out of my net points when you were running the studio; B) we've both survived knock-down fights with Michael Ovitz; C) I've always felt a responsibility to try to help failed playwrights or screenwriters.
Also on the book calendar: Chalmers Johnson sits in conversation with KCRW's Warren Olney on Wednesday at the Central Library, Robert Scheer signs The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq on Wednesday at the Barnes & Noble in Encino, and David Rensin signs The Mailroom Thursday at Brentano's in Century City.
The LAT's Rachel Abramowitz got to sit down with Mel Gibson for half an hour to discuss Passion of the Christ. It turned into a front page Sunday story in which Gibson fumes and explains, and blasts columnist critics Tim Rutten and Frank Rich. In Calendar, Scott Timberg looks back at the legacy of Elliott Smith, the Echo Park singer-song writer whose October death remains under investigation.