Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Film Club - David Gilmour

When I first heard about Film Club on NPR I was intrigued. When David Gilmour’s son, Jesse, begins to have trouble with school, David swaps houses with his ex to live with Jesse. It soon becomes apparent that Jesse is miserable in school and Gilmour fears he may lose his son.

“I also knew in that instant – knew it in my blood – that I was going to lose him over this stuff, that one of these days he was going to stand up across the table and say, “Where are my notes? I’ll tell you where my notes are. I shoved the up my a#@. And if you don’t lay the f*@k off them, I’m going to shove them up yours.” And then he’d be gone, slam, and that’d be that.”

Gilmour takes the unusual step of telling his son that he can drop out of school. In return, his son has to promise not to do drugs and to watch three movies a week with his father.

So, begins three years of movie watching. While his father grapples with ups and downs in his career, Jesse suffers several misadventures in love. They watch a wide and eclectic mix of movies from Annie Hall to the Exorcist to Show Girls.

This is a sweet and tender story about a father and son. It’s also has several interesting insights in to movies. Among the things I found interesting, Stephen King did not like the Shining (movie version).

“King went to an early screening of The Shining and came away disgusted; he said the movie was like a Cadillac without an engine. “You get, you can smell the leather, but you can’t drive it anywhere.” In fact, he went on to say he thought Kubrick made movies to “hurt people.”

I got a kick out of the fact that after they watched The Exorcist, Jesse slept on the couch that night, with a light on. I remember seeing that movie in college. My roommate was gone for the weekend. I was so freaked out I slept on the floor of my friend’s dorm room.

Gilmour’s love and deep knowledge of films and the love he has for his son comes through on every page.

His son ends up going back to school. Although it may sound strange that he let him drop out, it’s clear that Gilmour was conflicted about his decision but did it because he thought it was the best thing for Jesse.

Here’s one passage I liked about picking movies (I can relate to this. I also feel it can apply to books. “Sooo this was one of your favorite books. Hmmm. Interesting.”


“Picking movies for people is a risky business. In a way it’s as revealing as writing someone a letter. It shows how you think, it shows what moves you, sometimes it can even show how you think the world sees you. So when you breathlessly recommend a film to a friend, when you say, “Oh, this is a scream – you’re going to really love it,” it’s a nauseating experience when the friend sees you the following day and says with a wrinkled brow, “You thought that was funny?”

Father-Son 'Film Club' Keeps Teen on Track,

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