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Further Phoenix
at Rio's Attic:

Hollywood

Heart Phoenix

Celebrity

Florida

Silent Tongue

The Mosquito Coast

Running on Empty

My Own Private Idaho

Rob Reiner

Sidney Poitier

Robert Redford

Corey Feldman

Sam Shepard

Phil Donahue

Michael J. Fox

Joan Rivers

Hollywood Interrupted

Andrew Breitbart

Mark Ebner

Jerry Springer

The Jerry Springer Show
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix
American EnglishEn Français

Hollywood Interrupted

by Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner
First published in 2003


ISBN 0-471-45051-0 (Hardback, 414 Pages)

Initially reminding us very much of the 1984 TV-movie Celebrity, this book questions the notion of celebrity status and the Hollywood entertainment industry that supplies and sustains it. Well, not so much "question" it perhaps, it's more a case of ripping it apart as savagely and brutally as possible.

Another reviewer described this book as a "sour and joyless read" and we certainly came to know what they meant. In a book that the authors have packed full with pure undisguised hatred, the attacks carried a level of cruelty that was hard to bear.

The twisted values of fame are born not only from nepotism or from up-and-coming stars lured into the fast lane acquiescing to Hollywood peer pressure. Some stars were born and reared as destiny's children, conceived and raised by hippies, oddball nonconformists, many who now feel compelled to carry on their nutty lineage by altering society via their artistic gifts.

There is no shortage of celebrities raised in non-traditional, radical settings who have accumulated enough personal wealth and power to obscure the fact that they are not philosophically on the same page as the majority of us. These people believe the rest of us are brainwashed and only they possess the infinitely open minds that allow them to sense the entire scope of the human experience. A case in point is the late alleged future savior of mankind, River Phoenix (Running on Empty, The Mosquito Coast, My Own Private Idaho).

The subsequent attacks directed by the book's authors in the rest of that chapter are, for the most part, not aimed directly at River, but rather it is his mother, Heart Phoenix, who is targeted as the book lays accusation after accusation at her feet, and her beliefs, over the space of five unpalatable pages.

Bumming a free ride back to America on an ocean freighter in 1978, the destitute Phoenix family took refuge at Heart's mother's place in Florida, relegating Heart to leech off the middle-class teat she had renounced nearly a decade before.

Other people who worked with River and are discussed in this book include Phil Donahue, Corey Feldman, Michael J. Fox, Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford, Rob Reiner, Joan Rivers and Silent Tongue director, Sam Shepard.

Hollywood, for all its love of gritty reality and overwrought drama, has yet to produce the sexy and compelling tragedy of the family Phoenix. Unlike the Jerry Springer show freaks - who ostensibly teach us important life lessons about humanity - the River Phoenix cautionary tale hits too close to the bone for Hollywood to exploit.

It is the above passage, thankfully one of the last in the book in which the Phoenix family is referred to, that is perhaps the most telling of all. How strange that, having adopted such a holier-than-thou attitude towards their victims throughout their book, the authors themselves wasted no time in exploiting that "cautionary tale" themselves. Which, by our count, means that this book represents an entity that has even less morals than Hollywood has. Who would have thought such a thing could be created?


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