Sunday, November 16, 2008
The Film Club
TLP read, recommended, and loaned me The Film Club, by David Gilmour, an unusual memoir that covers three years of David's life with his teenaged son, Jesse. David Gilmore let his son drop out of school and did not make him work or pay rent, as long as he watched three movies a week. He had to watch the movies David Gilmour, an unemployed film critic, picked out to view and discuss.
Now, that's the life! It's not all roses, however, as David lets us in on his son's emotional problems and intense insecurities. Jesse was uninterested and unmotivated in school, and as David watched Jesse try to get by doing as little as possible, it occurred to him that school might be turning his son into a sneak and a liar. Forcing him to go to school was not making a better person out of Jesse, at least at this juncture. So--he let Jesse drop out.
Jesse had lots of time on his hands, and so did David. Eventually, though, Jesse does start working at menial jobs, and has time to pursue his musical talent and go through some rough times with romantic relationships, before he finally realized, three years later, that he wanted to go back to school. It wasn't easy for him, evidentally, but the years had given him purpose.
All of this family drama is interwoven with commentary on the films they watched, and that part of the book is very well done. Jesse does get a good film education, something that will undoubtedly bring him pleasure and good memories all his life.
As my mother told me, this is an easy, interesting read, and it's published by Twelve, an outfit that publishes twelve books a year, or one book a month.