What REALLY goes on in a job interview? Find out in the new revision of "Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed" (Warner Books) by Tony Medley, updated for the world of the Internet . Over 500,000 copies in print and the only book on the job interview written by an experienced interviewer, one who has conducted thousands of interviews. This is the truth, not the ivory tower speculations of those who write but have no actual experience. "One of the top five books every job seeker should read," says Hotjobs.com.

Ask the Dust (1/10)

by Tony Medley

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Robert Towne fell in love with the autobiographical novel of the same name by John Fante. Towne was basically unknown when he introduced himself to Fante in 1971. It was before Towne became a household word with three consecutive Oscar nominations, and one win, for “Chinatown.” So Fante was less than thrilled. In fact, he was obnoxious and insulting. Towne says, “I knew I had met the real Arturo Bandini,” the name of Fante’s protagonist and alter ego in the novel.

But Towne persisted and obtained the rights to film the novel. That started years of waiting. Several years ago he met Colin Farrell at a party at Towne’s house. It was before Farrell became a star, but Towne felt that he was the perfect person to play Bandini. “He walked through the kitchen and my wife’s girl friend said, ‘I don’t know who or what he is, but you should sign him up’. I watched and all the girls eyes lit up and followed him when he walked by,” says Towne.

For Camilla, the Mexican waitress Bandini falls for, he wanted Salma Hayak, but she was reluctant because she said she had been fighting her whole career to avoid being cast as a Mexican and had finally achieved stardom with her role in “Frieda.” But Towne persisted and when it came time they both signed on.

Financing was a problem. One of the best things about the movie, probably the only good thing, is the recreation of the Bunker Hill area of Los Angeles, which was torn down in the ‘60s. To accomplish this faithful rendition, the project was filmed on two large soccer fields in South Africa where they rebuilt the Third Street Tunnel that went under Bunker Hill. With the help of some CGI, it looks exactly like Bunker Hill, and I remember it well. The film came in at a $15 million budget, only because Farrell and Hayak worked for scale.

Bandini is a young writer who has come from the Midwest to Los Angeles, down to his last nickel when he finally sells a short story to publisher H.L Mencken, who takes a shine to the unseen Bandini. The way Towne translates the story is frustratingly uncompelling. His recreation of 1931 Los Angeles is stunning. If the movie itself weren’t so boringly bad, the atmosphere Towne gives would be worth the price of admission alone. But he makes Bandini such an unlikeable jackass, cruel and brutal to everyone with whom he comes in contact, it is impossible to understand why Camilla would want to be with him, much less fall in love with him.

March 17, 2006



Google Groups Subscribe to tonysreviews
Browse Archives at groups.google.com