Blood in their hands

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  • Publié le : 17 mai 2010
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This text in a an extract of the news paper "The Toronto star", and was written in 2002 by the famous American producer Joe Eszterhas. In fact the author was the film director of many sleazy movieslike "Basic Instinct". In this extract, the narrator shows us how cigarette had a particular place in his films, being himself a big smoker. But when he was diagnosed with throat cancer because ofsmoking he changed his mind becoming a staunch anti-smoking militant. In this article he seems to feel particularly guilty about scenes he wrote with cigarettes and accuses Hollywood of inciting youngpeople to smoke.

I - Eszterhas, a big smoker

a) A way to fit in the American society

He started smoking very young (12) to try to integrate the American society. Indeed he was a immigrant kid.So smoking gave him a sort of cool attitude : it conveys the message that smoking is the key to social success, that tobacco use is fun, sophisticated, modern, "adult" behaviour and thus cigarettesymbolises independence and maturity. He wouldn't be different from the other young Americans. In fact he imitated one's peers.

b) Throat cancer changed his life

He was a militant smoker. It was apart of his image of bad boy with "smoking, drinking, partying, rock'n'roll". He didn't realize how smoking was bad for the health and he didn't expect to get cancer. Indeed his smoking years havemade him sick. Now he is aware of the risks of smoking, that's why he decided to write this article so as to warn young people.

II - Eszterhas and Hollywood have "blood on their hands"

a)Cigarette, the favourite movies prop

Hollywood had both promoted the American dream and cigarettes. Indeed cigarettes were glamorising and particularly in Eszterhas' film were it was a part a sexualseduction. It was the favourite prop, because it was an easy way to occupy the actors' hands and show their state of mind. Now he is urging Hollywood to rethink the way it presents smoking. Eszterhas feels...