Friday, October 12, 2007


Coming in November from Europa Editions: Zeroville by Steve Erickson.

About the book, from the author's website:

I believe that cinema was here from the beginning of the world.
Josef von Sternberg

On the same August day in 1969 that a crazed hippie "family" led by Charles Manson commits five savage murders in the canyons above Los Angeles, a young ex-communicated seminarian arrives with the images of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift — "the two most beautiful people in the history of the movies" — tattooed on his head. At once childlike and violent, Vikar is not a cinĂ©aste but "cineautistic," sleeping at night in the Roosevelt Hotel where he's haunted by the ghost of D. W. Griffith, and behind the screen of the Chinese Theatre where "images from the movie fly over him as though he's lying at the end of a runway, below an endless stream of jetliners landing." Vikar has stepped into the vortex of a culture in upheaval: strange drugs that frighten him, a strange sexuality that consumes him, a strange music he doesn't understand. Over the course of the Seventies and into the Eighties, as the old studios crumble before the onslaught of a new, renegade generation, Vikar pursues his obsession with film from one screening to the next and through a series of cinema-besotted conversations and encounters with starlets, burglars, guerrillas, escorts, teenage punks and veteran film editors, only to discover a secret whose clues lie in every film ever made, and only to find that we don't dream the Movies but rather they dream us.