The Film Club
by: David Gilmour
Published by: Twelve/Hatchette Book Club
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Reviewed by Connie Anderson
This was a one-day read for me–and I loved every moment. When I finished reading The Film Club, I called our son who lives in LA and works in the movie business. “Go buy the book so we can discuss this.”
Canadian author David Gilmour was a film critic, had TV shows, etc., and has written several novels. When his 15-year-old son Jesse told his divorced dad that he hated school and wanted to quit (and after discussing his idea with Jesse’s mother), the dad offered this: You can quit school IF you watch and discuss three movies a week with me.
The lessons learned and discussions the father and son had revealed many aspects of their relationship–and about how hard it is to grow up. When Jesse’s heart was broken, his dad carefully picked the next movie so it had a message, but didn’t distress Jesse any more than he was. And the dad also told about his heartbreaks, how long it took to “heal,” and what helped him get over the girl—usually another girl.
Jesse and his dad were honest with each other (at least most of the time)–Jesse about breaking his dad’s rule about drug use and drinking. The dad often expressed his concern whether he had made a HUGE mistake letting Jesse quit school. What made this work is that the dad was un/underemployed at the time and could be at home when he wasn’t on a freelance writing job.
Reading The Film Club you will learn about certain movies going back to the 1950s, famous and not-so-famous movies, actors and directors. I found most interesting the discussion about who/what makes an outstanding actor; or what scene in the movie is memorable and why; why certain actors stole scenes with their stillness (not words or actions); and why an actor got a certain role.
However, I was surprised that his parents did not make some effort to continue his home schooling in math, science, etc. to keep him current. I was also intrigued that although the father was a novelist, he never encouraged Jesse to read.
Armchair Interviews says: The Film Club was a fascinating look at a father/son relationship as well as movies of all kinds.
From our armchair to yours...