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From her bunker in Park City, NY Times film reporter Sharon Waxman gives the New York Observer a little perspective on the unexlpoded-landmine-and-mass-grave-riddled Hollywood beat:

"I like being in war zones. And Hollywood is a kind of war zone," joked Sharon Waxman, the boisterous reporter covering the film beat for The New York Times. A former Middle East correspondent, Ms. Waxman has some basis for comparison. "They’re both very challenging, but Hollywood is much more treacherous for a reporter. Certainly, if you’re a human being trying to stay alive in the Middle East, that’s a more treacherous place. But as a reporter, [the Middle East is] much more straightforward."

We're totally with her; hardly a day goes by in this town without a producer hugging ten pounds of dynamite, trying to detonate a sound stage on the Universal lot in the name of Michael Eisner. When Waxman's not donning a flack vest, she's bringing the goods on the drug abuse of the industry's hottest young directors in her just-released book, Rebels on the Backlot:

"Once Anderson went on to make Boogie Nights he tended toward the hard-partying, woman-hopping life led by Quentin Tarantino, his mentor," she writes. "Cocaine became his drug of choice because it was better suited to his hard-charging, larger-than-thou ego and the maw of his artistic need. Russell was strictly a marijuana man, which was more suited to his neurotic, internal nature."

We have to admit that we're a little surprised that Russell likes to keep it on the chronic tip. With all of his Clooney-brawling and Nolan-headlocking action, he sounds a lot more like a PCP guy to us. And couldn't we have been spared the image of Quentin Tarantino "woman-hopping"? We know that he probably gets laid from time to time, but we certainly don't want to picture that face twisted into a mask of ecstasy.