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I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived in and Out of the Movies
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Flatiron Books 2015
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From award-winning actress Illeana Douglas comes a memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world.In 1969 Illeana Douglas' parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper's words, "That's what it's all about man" to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper middle class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, "Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it." I Blame Dennis Hopper is a testament to the power of art and the tenacity of passion. It is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Valley taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor-two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas-to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese for her blood-curdling scream and cast in her first film, to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke, to becoming an award winning writer, director and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking. Writing from the perspective of the ultimate show business fan, Douglas packs each page with hilarious anecdotes, bizarre coincidences, and fateful meetings that seem, well, right out of a plot of a movie.

I Blame Dennis Hopper is the story of one woman's experience in show business, but it is also a genuine reminder of why we all love the movies: for the glitz, the glamor, the sweat, passion, humor, and escape they offer us all.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
11/03/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250053879
ASIN:
B00W1CO8BC
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Illeana Douglas. (2015). I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived in and Out of the Movies. Flatiron Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Illeana Douglas. 2015. I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories From a Life Lived in and Out of the Movies. Flatiron Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Illeana Douglas, I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories From a Life Lived in and Out of the Movies. Flatiron Books, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Illeana Douglas. I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories From a Life Lived in and Out of the Movies. Flatiron Books, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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shortDescription

From award-winning actress Illeana Douglas comes a memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world.


In 1969 Illeana Douglas' parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper's words, "That's what it's all about man" to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper middle class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, "Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it."

I Blame Dennis Hopper is a testament to the power of art and the tenacity of passion. It is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Valley taught...

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title
I Blame Dennis Hopper
fullDescription

From award-winning actress Illeana Douglas comes a memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world.


In 1969 Illeana Douglas' parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper's words, "That's what it's all about man" to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper middle class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, "Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it."

I Blame Dennis Hopper is a testament to the power of art and the tenacity of passion. It is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Valley taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor-two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas-to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese for her blood-curdling scream and cast in her first film, to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke, to becoming an award winning writer, director and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking. Writing from the perspective of the ultimate show business fan, Douglas packs each page with hilarious anecdotes, bizarre coincidences, and fateful meetings that seem, well, right out of a plot of a movie.

I Blame Dennis Hopper is the story of one woman's experience in show business, but it is also a genuine reminder of why we all love the movies: for the glitz, the glamor, the sweat, passion, humor, and escape they offer us all.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist, Starred Review
      • content: "In this sublime series of essays, Douglas revels in her dual roles as both participant and observer, never losing her awe of the actors and directors she has met along the way.Funny, candid, juicy, gossipy, Douglas' insider look at the film industry charms with its "pinch me, I'm dreaming" sweetness while imparting hard-won and valuable lessons about following one's true calling."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kim Hubbard, People Magazine
      • content: "In other words, she's got seriously good stories to tell in these chatty, heartfelt essays"
      • premium: False
      • source: Entertainment Weekly
      • content: "It's Douglas' head-over-heels madness for the movies that illuminates the text like a projector bulb through a filmstrip, from her parents' decision to run a hippie commune after being bewitched by Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, to Douglas' own obsession with actors like Lee Marvin and Richard Dreyfuss, to her sometimes "delusional" confidence that she was born to be a star. Douglas recounts her life and work with a perfect mix of self-deprecation and glowing pride. Reading it feels like listening to the magnetic storyteller herself--and it's enough to make you fall in love too. A–"
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 9, 2015
        Actress and director Douglas's memoir is an enjoyable down a star-studded memory lane, buoyed by her easy charm and genuine love of all things cinematic. Growing up in Connecticut with parents who took Easy Rider's approach to 1960s counterculture a little too literally—her father started his own commune—Douglas always knew she wanted a life in the movies. The granddaughter of two-time Oscar-winner Melvyn Douglas once took a young Illeana to the set of Being There and introduced to one of her idols, Peter Sellers, thus cementing her Hollywood dream. Douglas worked her way up from waitressing at a dinner theater to acting school in New York, and thence to working for famed publicist Peggy Siegal. This led to a chance encounter with Martin Scorsese, who would direct her in several of his pictures, including in a particularly memorable scene of his Cape Fear remake in which Robert de Niro's Max Cady gnaws off her face; Douglas and Scorsese were also in a romantic relationship for a decade. Douglas recounts, with equal parts humor and heart, her experiences on films such as Goodfellas, Alive (for which the cast virtually recreated a plane crash high in the Canadian Rockies), and To Die For. She also mentions several friendships, both brief and long-term, with luminaries like Roddy McDowell and Marlon Brando. Douglas nimbly avoids the celebrity tell-all pitfall of unrelieved namedropping by imbuing her debut with an earnest, undeniable passion for movies and the people who make them.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 1, 2015
        Actress, producer, and director Douglas celebrates her love of movies in a cheerful debut memoir. The granddaughter of actor Melvyn Douglas, the author grew up in a hippie commune started by her father, who rejected a suburban, middle-class version of the American dream after he saw Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider. His daughter yearned to escape from her parents' self-imposed poverty and become a movie star. "We look up to movie stars," she writes. "We believe in them, because they are larger than life, and it makes us believe in ourselves when no one else does." Channeling Liza Minnelli, Douglas was accepted into the Hartford Stage Youth Theatre, which set her on a path to acting schools in New York. Her career was marked by "dreams and magic signs that foretell where you're going" and helped smooth the inevitable rough spots. On the way to success, the author recounts meetings with many movie idols who encouraged her: Lee Marvin ("my childhood sweetheart," she confesses), who kissed her and wished her luck; Peter Sellers, who told her to learn to ride a unicycle "because it's hard and not everyone can do it"; and Richard Dreyfuss, with whom she was obsessed. "He was the first actor I studied," she writes, "and tried to be like, like a painter copying a master until he has a technique of his own." Other luminaries who make appearances include the generous and understanding Roddy McDowall; Robert De Niro, with whom Douglas acted in Cape Fear; "kind and adorable" Gene Wilder; and Martin Scorsese, who was her boyfriend for a while. She also describes an emotional meeting with Marlon Brando and recalls her success at producing Easy to Assemble, a satirical series made with IKEA's cooperation. The author's warm portraits and disarming honesty infuse the memoir with an endearing sweetness and charm.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2015

        Gushy excitement alternates with sentimentality, self-celebration, and stand-up comedy rhythms in this movie-wrapped memoir by actress and occasional web series producer/director Douglas, who proudly and emotionally recounts her life as the granddaughter of acclaimed actor Melvyn Douglas. The title is derived from the powerful influence of director Dennis Hopper's 1969 film Easy Rider on the author's father, who blew away his bourgeois adequacy, abandoned responsibility, and started one of those legendary 1960s communes, causing in his young daughter a poverty-stricken sense of self. The narrative is chronologically jumbled. Stories range from her early adolescent reminiscences of drive-in movies to much later behind-the-scenes experiences with film personalities. These encounters range from some with grand on-screen images to those with real-life, mostly senior movie stars, directors, publicists, and other industry characters, several with close connections and many name-dropped from a distance. Entertaining flashes of insight and infatuation reveal Douglas's former paramour Martin Scorsese and actors including Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Richard Dreyfuss, Ethan Hawke, and Roddy McDowall. VERDICT For those who enjoy whimsical insights into movie personalities and productions, and an easygoing memoir style.--Ann Fey, SUNY Rockland Community Coll., Suffern

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from November 1, 2015
        Equal parts fan girl and femme fatale, Douglas is both an actor's actor and an adoring admirer of the craft. Since she was the granddaughter of veteran character actor Melvyn Douglas, one would assume she grew up with instantaneous access to the behind-the-scenes world of stage and screen. One would be wrong. Although she inherently knew she wanted to be an actress, circumstances forced her to pursue that dream with the same fervor as any fresh-faced Kansas farm girl. Her dedication paid off, landing her some of Hollywood's most iconic roles in such films as Cape Fear and Goodfellas. In this sublime series of essays, Douglas revels in her dual roles as both participant and observer, never losing her awe of the actors and directors she has met along the way. We believe they are our saviors, she writes, and she is right. Stars have a way of captivating one's imagination and providing lifelines in uncertain times. Douglas was one of those who held on for dear life. Funny, candid, juicy, gossipy, Douglas' insider look at the film industry charms with its pinch me, I'm dreaming sweetness while imparting hard-won and valuable lessons about following one's true calling.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

subtitle
And Other Stories from a Life Lived in and Out of the Movies
popularity
105
publisher
Flatiron Books
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