Molly's Reviews > The Film Club: A Memoir

The Film Club by David Gilmour
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Jan 18, 10

bookshelves: memoirs
Read from January 17 to 18, 2010

I haven't read a good memoir in a while so I thought I would venture back to the genre with this book about a Canadian film critic who allows his teenage son to drop out of high school and gives him an education through film instead. I love movies. I have a degree in education. Seemed to be right up my alley.

I didn't find the book to be all that well written - there would be some passages that sounded quite cliche or seemed written with effort. But then he would insert gems that kept me going and got me thinking. I think he's better in shorter spurts than longer efforts - though he is an award winning author of fiction. So what do I know.

I was honestly quite horrified that not only would he suggest that his son no longer try in the world of structured academics, but that he would encourage drinking. I know that the legal age is lower in Canada than what we have here in the US - but it seemed that the author was always in need of a drink, and was happy to include his son in that pastime. Whether it is a cultural thing or not, I didn't see it as beneficial to his son.

All that being said, I thought it was brave of the author to recognize his son's frustration with school work and seek another way to teach him. He used their combined interest in movies to help guide his son through the ups and downs of his teenage years. It was a window to conversations that parents too often side step or don't take the time to have. His support and love for his son was evident and the care that he took to give him life lessons but also allow for independence was very touching.

I'm not sure why he couldn't have done all of that movie sharing and bonding with his son while he was also staying in school rather than suggesting he quit. There were obviously basic things his son didn't know - such as geography - that he didn't seem as inspired to teach him about. But thankfully his hunch that his son would make the right choices eventually was correct.

If you want to stroll through the movies from a different perspective, seeing how they mirror life and can speak to you in ways that every day life can't always, check this out. It was an easy and quick read.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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John When I read the book my first thought was that Gilmour's son might have had a learning disability. He didn't seem particularly stupid or rebellious but he certainly struggled with school. The drinking part i think had more to do with Gilmour Sr's problem than our drinking age or morals. I was happy to see that the son turned out fine in the end.


message 2: by Molly (last edited Jan 19, 2010 06:05PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Molly John wrote: "When I read the book my first thought was that Gilmour's son might have had a learning disability. He didn't seem particularly stupid or rebellious but he certainly struggled with school. The drink..."

I thought the same thing about a learning disability - but I assumed more thought was put into the decision by the author and the kid's mom than what was presented in the book.

I wasn't sure if underage drinking is seen as more acceptable in Canada - I know my friend who grew up in Scotland said that wine was part of growing up in Europe. So I figured it might be the same in Toronto.

I really enjoyed how he matched movies to fit his son's mood in life at the moment. It was interesting and made me want to watch them with a fresh slate. I'm glad you reminded me about it - it was a neat little book.




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