I haven’t read The Film Club. Just browsed through it during my last visit to the bookshop. The first paragraph is fact. The second paragraph is mostly about what I think the book should be like. Rather, it’s about what I feel would make a book with a premise such as this interesting. My understanding, formed on the basis of a few reviews I read, is that the book is nowhere close to what I imagine it to be. But I’d venture to say, as Borges would have, that intermittent interesting sentences save the narrative from being a mere blip on the literary landscape.
What do you do with a teenager who has trouble getting through high school? Faced with this most insurmountably problematic of questions, David Gilmour comes up with the most quirky, maverick, and coolest plan ever concocted by a troublesome teenager’s dad: He lets his son quit school under the condition that he watch three movies a week with him (!).
The Film Club by David Gilmour is a memoir revolving around the time he and his son spent together watching movies. In a candid, vivid, and altogether human way Gilmour distills the very essence of the movie watching experience into one little lightning-in-a-bottle of a book. The underlying philosophy of the narrative seems to be a tacit crystallisation of the purpose of movies, movie making, and movie watching: Movie making as the business of living the myriad facets of life (including the fantasies and the perversions) so that when lesser mortals have trouble living their lives, they have the option of re-learning the art and business of living by watching movies. This is movie watching as philosophy or, as it once occurred to Beethoven about music, a revelation greater than philosophy.