Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Film Club: A Memoir by David Gilmour

First off, no. It's not that David Gilmour.

This David Gilmour is a Canayjin (say it out loud) novelist who sees his teenage son, Jesse, start to flounder in school, despite being a bright kid. It gets so bad that Jesse begs to be allowed to drop out of grade 10. (Notice that? Grade 10 not tenth grade? I've been to Canada. Twice.) Gilmour, divorced from Jesse's mother but still on good terms, struggles with the decision. Throughout much of the book, he is an out of work film critic and at loose ends himself but finally allows Jesse to drop out with the requirement that they watch three films together per week of Gilmour's choosing. No prep, no previews, no quizzes. No excuses.

Now I'm a sucker for father and son stories. My own father was quite the movie lover and I have the fondest memories of watching movies with him, movies that were sometimes well above my head, but which he patiently, but never patronizingly, explained. Some of this book took me back to that so thank you, Gilmour Boys.

What really worked well was that watching the movies together gave them something to talk about; a shared experience, which led to more talking. Gilmour struggles with his decision to let Jesse drop out and often second guesses himself and Jesse, deep in the maelstrom of teenage existence and young love, is a little melodramatic at times but he pulls it together when he needs to. Still, it leads to trust and love and dialogue and growth for them both and that's where the short, sweet story succeeds.

1 comment:

Mark Hoobler said...

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