14 questions for Chuck Palahniuk, author of
FIGHT CLUB, CHOKE and this year’s outrage, TELL-ALL.
Question: A casual observer might be surprised at the depth of knowledge of 50’s-era movies that you display in TELL-ALL. Where does this come from?
Chuck Palahniuk: That vast wealth of 50's film info comes from my editor, Gerry Howard (who has a life-long crush on Gene Tierney, so feel free to tease him about it. He still carries her photo inside his wallet). Originally I'd written TELL-ALL chock-a-block with references to silent movie stars from the 'teens and 1920's, but Gerry thought they were too, too esoteric and forgotten. Ask me anything about silent movies -- did you know that Lon Chaney was such a brilliant master of gesture because both his parents were deaf and mute -- and I will bore you with trivia until you weep like a little girl.
Q: What is your favorite movie of that time, and why?
CP: Anything by Douglas Sirk. All I have to do is hear the opening strains of Earl Grant singing the theme to "Imitation of Life" and I collapse into a quivering heap. Susan Kohner throwing herself across her dead mother's casket... that's movie magic!