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Star-dust in Hollywood " No," I said, " but the point is that he can if he likes. You daren't." " Clothes tell," as the advertisements say: and, in fact, no one does dare to dress negligently here unless of the highest rank. Where should this fact be known if not in the Publicity Department, which makes an almost scientific study of what does tell ? The problem that brought almost the highest of the Publicity Department hurrying from his office was our request to have permission to loiter behind the scenes on the stages and sketch there. It was apparently the first time such a demand had been made. The objection was not against our wish to sketch in the abstract, but against our wish to draw the scenery as well as the stars. " We can let you in and you can draw the stars and people, but you mustn't draw the sets," said the bigwig, chewing his cigar at us. " But the sets are the very things we want to draw," we exclaimed. "We want to get the strange mixture of the real and the false. We are proposing to make a set of etchings of the work in the studios, and, of course, the half-made sets, the struts and stays and the general gimcrack, are tremendously interesting." " No," said the chief publicity man decidedly. " We just can't let you do that. It will have so bad an effect on the public. And, gee ! the films are going down badly enough as it is. The public like to think that the scenes are real. ..." " But look here," we remonstrated. " They know already that the actors are imitations. If they see Jannings one month as a Russian general and the next month as a street-corner grocer they know he is a fake. What difference can it make ? " x 1 Oddly enough the Australian bushmen take the movies as dead reality, and follow with passionate sympathy from one film to another the extraordinary ups and downs of well-known movie actors. " Poor fellow/ 1 they say, " he's lost all his money again. What bad luck these people do have ! "