WEIRDLAND: "Starstruck" (2013), "The Black Dahlia", Josh Hartnett's evolution

Thursday, May 09, 2013

"Starstruck" (2013), "The Black Dahlia", Josh Hartnett's evolution

Who Is The Black Dahlia (1975): Dramatization of Elizabeth Short's story. Starring Brooke Adams & Lucie Arnaz. In 1947 Los Angeles, a police detective tries to solve the shocking and grisly murder of 22-year-old aspiring actress Elizabeth Short, whose nude body was dumped in a lot after being bisected with surgical precision. The detective interviews people who knew Short, who was called "The Black Dahlia" because of the black outfits she wore. "She's a ghost and a blank page to record our fears and desires," says James Ellroy. "A post-war Mona Lisa, an L.A. quintessential." It's a real-life mystery that's inspired countless moviemakers and writers from "Double Indemnity," "Chinatown" and "L.A. Confidential."

Elizabeth Short was herself starstruck with her childhood idol actress/singer Deanna Durbin who passed away ten days ago. "Dottie [Elizabeth's sister], Bette and I were going to be movie stars. We were all entranced with movie stars, star struck. Spent hours talking about movie stars, about going to Hollywood. We performed using the Short's front porch as a stage. Every Friday as soon as the song sheets came out, we'd pool our money, get the latest sheets, and spend hours singing."

"Bette imitated Deanna Durbin. Walked like her, talked like her, and in my eyes sang like her." -Eleanor Kurz, Elizabeth Short's Medford neighbor and friend.

She was Elizabeth Short from Medford, Mass. Friends called her Betty. But in the headlines of the day, and ever after, she would be the Black Dahlia, inspired, it would be said, by the way she wore her hair.

She became a tabloid sensation, hot copy in a five-newspaper town. Now she has been incarnated on screen in "The Black Dahlia," a ferociously imagined fictional take on the brief life and cruel death of Elizabeth Short.

"The Black Dahlia" (2006) stars Josh Harnett and Aaron Eckhart as cops on the case, Scarlett Johanssen as the siren they both love, and as the Black Dahlia herself, Mia Kirshner.

"The myth of Elizabeth Short is this is what happens to star-struck girls from... little towns back East... who come out to big bad Hollywood with ideas of getting into movies," Harnisch said. "Terrible things happen." "Don't, don't, don't come to L.A. to become a movie-star," Ellroy said. "Fatuous dreams die hard." Source:

Josh Hartnett plays detective Bucky Bleichert in "The Black Dahlia" (2006) directed by Brian De Palma

"She needed to be here. She needed to be where it had all begun. It was late, still the store was unusually empty for a Friday night. All the Hollywood hangers-on who made Schwab's their headquarters, the has-beens and never-weres and still-to-bes who set the air abuzz with their jabber and complaints , their gossip and gloats, were nowhere to be seen. Margo made her way down the quiet main aisle and sat down at the horseshoe-shaped lunch counter in the back, which was empty apart from a man in a trenchcoat reading the late edition of the newspaper over coffee and apple pie. He had on one of those soft felt hats that were worn only by undercover detectives or men who played them in the movies, and for once in her life Margo wasn't interested in guessing which one he was." -"Starstruck" (2013) by Rachel Shukert

"The Golden Age of Hollywood –and its gritty underside– is captured with real flair in this novel... this novel evokes late-1930s Hollywood with panache. Characters are well drawn, representing common archetypes but with a twist." -School Library Journal, May 2013.

In Starstruck, novelist Rachel Shukert paints an alluring portrait of Hollywood in the 1930s: Glamorous muses in designer gowns swan around on the arms of handsome men in tuxedos. It’s all very nice until you look a little closer to notice that no one is smiling. While the view might look beautiful from afar -- much like an Impressionist painting -- up close it’s just a big, incoherent mess. In no time at all, Margaret Frobisher becomes Margo Sterling, a promising, young ingĂ©nue who is destined for stardom. But, like clockwork, unsavory rumors begin to swirl, connecting her to the missing starlet, Diana Chesterfield. There's no denying that Margo bears an uncanny resemblance to Diana -- she was even cast as Diana's replacement in the upcoming film. Some begin to speculate that Margo is looking to replace Diana altogether.

Starstruck is a clear nod in homage to Jacqueline Susann’s pulp novel, Valley of the Dolls, a seminal work that depicts the horrors of Hollywood and drug abuse. But while Dolls ultimately ends in tragedy, Starstruck has Margo rising straight to the top. The only question remains: At what cost did she get there? Shukert’s Starstruck reads like a cross between a film noir mystery novel and celebrity tabloid fodder. The ambiguity of characters’ intentions, along with the mystery behind a starlet's disappearance, will keep audiences captivated until the very end. Source:

Josh Hartnett: "I'm not going to say that I'm a saint, that I've never done anything wrong in my life, but if you're going to find something out about me personally, at least find something that's remotely true." Hollywood actor Josh Hartnett has won 20,000 pounds ($30,000) in libel damages from a British newspaper that claimed he engaged in "steamy shenanigans" in a public area of a London hotel. The tabloid Daily Mirror claimed in a September article that Hartnett and an unknown woman had a steamy encounter in the library of the Soho Hotel that was caught on CCTV. Hartnett's lawyer says the actor plans to donate the damages money to charity. Source:

Josh Hartnett's Evolution (Forever Young) video from Kendra.
Josh Hartnett's Evolution (A Look at All of His Filmography).
Soundtrack: "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan, "Someday Soon" by Wilco, "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" by Elvis Presley, "Lady" by Eugene Kelly, "Ooh Wee Baby" by Darlene Love, "Just Like Honey" by The Jesus & Mary Chain, "Lady Midnight" by Leonard Cohen, "Breathless" by Jerry Lee Lewis and "Baby, Baby" by The Vibrators.

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