Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Film Club

One of the items on my "101 in 1001" list is, "Read a novel by a Governor-General award winner whose works I've not read before." I checked this off a couple of weeks ago after finishing David Gilmour's The Film Club. I'm stretching the definition of "novel" here, as the book is a memoir about a period in his life spent watching movies with his teenage son. Gilmour, who had worked as a film critic for the CBC, agreed to let his son drop out of high school on the condition that they watch three movies a week.

This was a wonderful read. Many critics pointed out that the novel was not really about the movies, and rather it was about the father-son relationship through the troubled teen years and how to connect with your kid during a period when communication is tough. Living with a teenager myself, I certainly appreciated those aspects of the work, but for me, it really was about the movies! I spent many hours of my own teenage years watching old films from the 30's through the 60's, and Todd and I had, for a number of years, spent our Saturday evenings with Elwy Yost. This man loved movies, and the enthusiasm was contagious. David Gilmour loves movies too, and one day, I'll try to go through his list. (Thanks to John for the link.)

Coincidentally, Julia has lately developed a great interest in films and has, on occasion, asked to see showings at our local repertory cinema. After I told her about The Film Club, I proposed we take turns choosing movies to watch together. The rule was that each person must sit through the other's choice, though we were allowed to express our honest opinion about the film afterwards. We're both a bit apprehensive about this venture. We used to enforce this rule with respect to music CDs on long car trips. As a result, the girls had to put up with a lot of 70's and 80's rock and classical music. Todd and I, in turn, listened to enough Hilary Duff and Miley Cyrus to last a lifetime. We'll see how long our little "film club" lasts, but for now, I'm looking forward to seeing some movies that I might not have selected otherwise.

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