Dennis Hopper was the chopper-riding hippie outlaw in Easy Rider, the prophetic madman in the jungle in Apocalypse Now, the terrifying psychopath in Blue Velvet and the kid gone wrong in Rebel Without a Cause.
The actor was taken under the wing of James Dean, a friendship that set Dennis Hopper on his path to becoming a star. He was a quintessentially American dreamer longing to be the next Orson Welles, a hell-raising director who revolutionized Hollywood.
For years, people have been asking Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, the brash, outspoken, and fiercely loyal eldest brother in the Emanuel clan, the same question: What did your mom put in the cereal? Middle brother Rahm is the mayor of Chicago, erstwhile White House chief of staff, and one of the most colorful figures in American politics. Youngest brother Ari is a Hollywood super-agent. And Zeke himself is one of the world’s leading bioethicists and oncologists, and a former special advisor for health policy in the Obama administration.
In Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright, we learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.
Lately, I’ve been seeing and savoring quite a few foreign language films: titles that have not enjoyed across-the-board theatrical releases in the U.S. This lack of theatrical exposure is not because these films are lacking in quality. They are in fact engrossing and provocative.