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5 February 2003

I went to the cinema yesterday, and was moved to the creation of a whole new word.

The film was The Kid Stays In The Picture; the word is autoproctology.

For those who don't know, the film purports to be a documentary about the life and deeds of Robert Evans the film producer. It's not in fact a documentary by any definition that I would recognise; it's an archive sequence of PR shots and newspaper headlines, with a voice-over from Evans himself which has all the insight and intellectual rigour of an article from Hullo magazine. Hollywood's fascination with itself - or no, let me say what I mean, Hollywood's predilection for sticking its head up its own bottom in smug fascination with what goes on in there - is already legendary, so I suppose its making a movie about a man who makes movies ought to be barely worth mention (and my own industry is hardly innocent in this regard - how many books can you name that are about writers, publishers or booksellers? Indeed, I've done it myself: my first novel, The Samaritan, features an ex-policeman who has turned to writing books. Talking of which, there is a website that catalogues books that don't exist; check out the Invisible Library. They haven't found me yet, but no doubt someone will tell). But when the film is so cheap, so complacent, so entirely without merit or significance - well, what can one do but commit neologism?

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© Chaz Brenchley 2003
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.