Hollywood “Ruins”


On April 2, I will be giving a talk at the Wilmette Public Library about Jess Walter’s 2012 novel Beautiful Ruins. This satirical, poignant tale — about the intersection of art, business and relationships — spans decades, continents and features a cast of thousands, including Richard Burton in a hilariously unforgettable “cameo.” The chronologically scrambled plot is told in part against the backdrop of the making of the 1963 movie Cleopatra, which Walter posits as the beginning of a new era of tabloid celebrity culture where “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” The talk will focus on the death of Hollywood’s old studio system era and will feature clips from relevant American and European films.

This is the inaugural event in the library’s “One Book, Everybody Reads” program, which will culminate with a May 5 appearance by Walter himself. More information can be found on the WPL website here:


Don’t you dare miss it!


About michaelgloversmith

Filmmaker, author and Film Studies instructor. View all posts by michaelgloversmith

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