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The Film Club: A True Story of a Father and Son

3.17  ·  Rating details ·  4,391 Ratings  ·  698 Reviews
At the start of this brilliantly unconventional family memoir, David Gilmour is an unemployed movie critic trying to convince his fifteen-year-old son Jesse to do his homework. When he realizes Jesse is beginning to view learning as a loathsome chore, he offers his son an unconventional deal: Jesse could drop out of school, not work, not pay rent - but he must watch three ...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published September 13th 2007 by Dundurn
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Cathleen
Apr 30, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I quit. I cannot stand to read any more. I had been looking forward to reading this and was very much hoping to include it in the library's blog, but I can't do it. I kept pushing and reached the half-way mark, but no more.

A father allows his teenage son to drop out of school on the condition they together watch three movies (of his dad's choice) a week -- no job required, no pretense of schooling. The movies themselves are only cursorily discussed, which seems one of the biggest flaws both with
...more
Kris
May 18, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Kris by: Veryshortlist.com
I don't think I've read a more self-serving, craptastic piece of writing--it barely touches on how they felt about the films they watched together. Instead he pompously tells his son to watch for things in the films (things that HE likes or notices, but he doesn't seem to ask his son what his SON liked), then gives a 4 sentence wrap up at the end. Most of the book is the authors pointless (to the story) search for a job and how he lectures his drug abusing drinking son about how he'll "get over" ...more
Jen
May 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, film buffs
Recommended to Jen by: John Nettles
Shelves: non-fiction
There is a limit to what you can force your child to do, especially once they've reached the age of 16 and are taller than you. David Gilmour recognized that fact and (bravely) let his son Jesse drop out of school on the condition that, together, they watch and discuss three movies each week. A former film critic for the CBC, Gilmour makes his movie selections with the intention of teaching his son as much as he can in the time they have left together.

Being neither a father nor a son myself, I m
...more
Mike
Mar 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As far as I'm concerned I'm fairly easy to please. I am a snob in most every way; however I tend to put forward that facade more so than is actually true as opposed to apparent. That said....

This book is God awful. David Gilmore is easily one of the most self-righteous and self-absorded authors I've ever read (with particular concern and attention being paid to the fact that his painfully obvious solipsism is without any romantic suggestion to the likes of Updike, Mailer, Hemingway, etc.) He is
...more
Melissa
May 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about this book. There are so many writers out there who are now writing memoirs about their experiments in living. I am not so sure that they aren't conducting the experiment just to get material for a book. David Gilmour, an out of work television host/film writer, decides to let his teenage son drop out of school on the condition that he watch 3 movies with his father a week. He doesn't have to get a job, do anything to help his struggling (divorced) p ...more
Steven
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of those books that I picked up on a bit of a whim at the library that was deliciously light weekend fare that could be read in a couple of quick sittings. The premise of this one is rather remarkable - a Canadian father offers to let his son drop out of school if he watches three movies a week. There are quite a few things in this book that really disturb, not the least of which is the fact that the son is hard to like. He drinks a lot, is an aspiring rapper, and it is hard to tell whether ...more
Katie Scarlett O Hara
Uživala sam, komentari o filmovima su izuzetno zanimljivi i inspirativni, bukvalno sam tokom čitanja odmah htela da oformim svoj filmski klub. Ko voli filmove, naročito kultne i klasične, uživaće sigurno. E sad, sama priča mi je bila pretežno nezanimljiva, koliko sam videla priča je autobiografska, pa ne mogu baš da komentarišem likove, ali moje interesovanje se svakako gubilo čim je priča o filmovima prestajala. Srećom, to se retko dešavalo. Imala sam utisak kao da čitam specijalno izdanje Tota ...more
Liberty
Jan 30, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bleh. The whole time, I kept thinking, "His son is really all right with him sharing that?" Then, at the end, it turns out, his son never read it. Gilmour thanks his son for trusting him to have the book published, sight unseen. Any day now, a headline will read "Film Critic Beaten to Death by Angry Son."
Peter Derk
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
What? I read a book that isn't a comic book? Has the world gone mad?

Well, sometimes I like to get away from my regular, capital-L literature featuring metallic men and men who fly around in jet suits and metallic men who have the metal in their skeletons instead of using it as skin.

The Film Club. Recommended to me by a friend a really long time ago, I got around to it on a trip and read most of it in two plane rides.

Welllllllll that's not entirely true. There was also a 3-hour airport delay wher
...more
Anne
Jun 14, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awhile back I read a touching memoir called Life, Death & Bialys about a father-son pair who take a baking class together and discover new and wonderful things about their complicated relationship. I was hoping that The Film Club would give me an equally warm-hearted feeling. This is the story of a 16-year boy who just isn't quite cutting it in school. He is bored in class and does not seem motivated to do any of this work. His film loving father decides that maybe letting him drop out of sc ...more
Susannah
Dec 08, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
46 pages into this book, and I had to put it down. I like challenging books, but I don't like the challenge to be having enough self-control not to throw the book across the room.

To be fair, memoirs are probably a pretty indulgent genre. Written by people about themselves, it's no wonder that when they go wrong, they go horribly wrong as with The Film Club by David Gilmour. I don't necessarily take issue with this story of parents who let their son drop out of high school. Gilmour makes a convi
...more
Todd
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone with children
Recommended to Todd by: My wife
Lets get this out of the way...this is not written by the guitar player from Pink Floyd.
This was a remarkable book. It is usually not the genre that I read, however, it combines two of my favorite things...parenthood and movies. Gilmore does a fantastic job of identifying many of the fears of parenting, adulthood and the overall human experience. If it sounds sappy, it was not. It is a story to which any parent can relate.
It is about watching your child grow, providing guidance even though you h
...more
Courtney
Oct 21, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get through this one. The first thing that bugged me was the language. It was one of those "hey! I can swear!" books that was just for shock value. But that doesn't surprise me coming from this author who does seem to want to be "hip". Gilmour said that he wasn't trying to be cool, but actions speak louder than words. If you are letting your teenager drop out of school, have sex, smoke, and top it off by requiring him to watch rated R movies, then sorry, but I think you're trying to b ...more
Naia
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Myślę, że ogromna popularność "Klubu filmowego" to zasługa ciekawego pomysłu oraz tego, że to historia oparta na faktach. Niestety, sama książka się już nie broni. O filmach autor pisze tu świetnie, ale nieznośnie mało, za to 90% książki stanowią nudne perypetie sercowe syna, pocieszające gadki doświadczonego w damsko-męskich bojach ojca i rozmowy o niczym. Zdecydowanie wolałabym przeczytać zbiór esejów o filmach w wykonaniu Gilmoura.
Ms.pegasus
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has gone through the experience of raising an adolescent boy
What do you do if you're a 15 year old boy, wrenched with exploding hormones, bored by the mere thought of a classroom and aroused only by relevance to your personal NOW? That's Jessie Gilmour. Worse, what do you do if you are his parent? Canadian novelist and film critic David Gilmour shares an extraordinary three years of empathy, anxiety, despair and joy in this brief memoir.

Jessie is musically gifted, sensitive, eager to appear as the adult his lank body suggests, but painfully vulnerable t
...more
Kathrina
Nov 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs-bios
Here's what I've learned about David Gilmour: He's a talented film critic, a mediocre writer, and a ridiculously irresponsible human being. I was going to say irresponsible father, since I think his approach to parenting is horrendous and naive, but I have to back up and say no, his whole personal and professional life that he brings to light through this memoir is despicable, hypocritical, and undignified. He's an alcoholic, he spends his money irresponsibly and stupidly, his current wife is to ...more
Kressel Housman
I may be the most permissive mother in Monsey, but compared to the father who wrote this book, I am in control. The book opens when the son, Jesse, age 16, is failing out of school. The father, writer David Gilmour, makes the staggering suggestion of letting him drop out of school under two conditions: 1) no drugs (alcohol and nicotine ARE allowed, though) and 2) he must watch three movies per week with David. Since David did a stint as a film critic for a while, he gets to choose all the movies ...more
orsodimondo
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada
UNA VITA AL MASSIMO
Tu pensi che la vita sia stata ben generosa con te, ti ha elargito dolore a sufficienza.
Poi, arriva tuo figlio, e l'incontro/scontro con la vita si ripropone, e via andare, si ricomincia e la vita torna a essere generosa: i problemi di tuo figlio, il suo malessere, la sua ansia, le sue difficoltà di crescita, il suo dolore... è tutto altrettanto tuo, proprio e più di come è già stato prima, quando lui non c'era e il soggetto eri tu.
Adesso è anche peggio, perché ti sembra di
...more
Erika
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This guy is a jackass. I'm pretty sure he wanted to be praised for his cool guy solution for his son who wanted to drop out of high school. He says no problem, just watch three movies every week with me. You want to drink? Sure. Drugs? Okay. Sex here in the house? No problem. Sleep until 5? Yes! Just watch movies with me! Idiot. And when your book is titled "The Film Club" you should probably talk about films instead of just naming a few you watched. What a waste of time.
Gie
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bukunya bau kamper, udah lama tertimbun. but i believe every book has its own time. seperti buku ini. gak nyangka kalau saya bakal suka.

kisah nyata tentang seorang ayah (gilmour) yang mengizinkan anaknya (jesse) berhenti sekolah--anaknya tak tertarik dengan dunia sekolah--peristiwa ngerjain pr sungguh antara pilu, ngilu, hopeless gimana gitu--berhenti sekolah dengan syarat no drugs & anaknya mau menonton film bersamanya.

suka dengan kegamangan pria-pria ini (pria berumur 50 tahun bisa gamang
...more
Guillermo Jiménez
Nunca tomo notas de lo que leo. Muchas veces copio extractos, citas, párrafos, frases de algo que me dice más, o que me habla a mí directamente y lo anoto en papeles sueltos que luego traslado a un cuaderno.

Mientras leía este libro, sentí eso que leí en Bolaño, deseos de levantar el teléfono y llamar al autor y... no decir nada. O solo un "estoy con The Film Club" y esperar su "Ah, ok" y colgar.

Normalmente hablo demasiado y eso me ayuda a poner en orden mis ideas. Tomé terapia en un par de ocasi
...more
Anastasia
For me, it’s difficult to like a book if I don’t like any of the characters. I was really excited to read The Film Club, about a 16-year-old boy who wishes to quit high school and does so, with his father’s blessing, with the caveat that he must watch three movies a week (all chosen by the father). The result, according to the book jacket, is high-quality father-son bonding, the likes of which rarely happen after a boy has reached his teen years.

While I did read about conversations Jesse had wit
...more
Isidora
„Filmski klub“ je memoarska priča o trogodišnjem „programu“ edukacije putem filmova, koji je autor (u tom trenutku nezaposlen i ništa manje nezreo od svog naslednika) osmislio za sina tinejdžera. Džesi je petnaestogodišnjak ("highschool-dropout", kako bi rekli njihovi sunarodnici) koji na burne pubertetske godine pronalazi drastičan odgovor: napraviće pauzu u školovanju! Kako bi mu ovaj period traženja sebe ipak bio koliko-toliko ispunjen nečim smislenim, otac se obraća za pomoć svojoj omiljenoj ...more
Ashley
Jun 08, 2008 rated it liked it
The memoir of a fellow who allowed his son to drop out of high school if he would agree to watch three movies (of his father's choosing) a week... With his father.

It was a pretty entertaining book, and an interesting concept. Especially to someone like myself, who has little feeling for school (especially high school, which I didn't bother attending) and very strong feelings for film.

But it was a very quick read. I had hoped that it would have been more about the movie watching aspect, but ther
...more
York
May 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Un libro mono, bien intencionado, con un planteamiento interesante, pero que se pierde demasiado en la parte del drama adolescente, cuando se supone que el asunto de todo son las películas y cómo nos pueden cambiar la vida, al final pasan a segundo plano y se trata más de cómo la generación de ahora y la de los 60 ven algunos clásicos del cine. Es entretenido, roza en la literatura de superación personal por sus dosis de feel good, tiene sus apuntes interesantes, pero nada por lo que valga la pe ...more
Ron
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michel Mendes
No começo pareceu um pouco chato , a história é rasa e meio auto ajuda, piegas...
Mas com o tempo percebi que o legal do livro não é a história do pai mas apenas os comentários sobre os filmes, assunto que o autor parece conhecer bem.
Pra transformar um punhado de informações e curiosidades sobre filmes famosos o autor tentou criar um romance e não foi muito feliz. Meu conselho é que se apegue apenas a parte dos filmes que é interessante e agradável.
theduckthief
Apr 06, 2008 rated it liked it
The Good: David Gilmour lets his son 16 year old son Jesse drop out of school. The catch to this agreement is Jesse has to watch three movies a week with his dad. But Jesse doesn't get to pick the movies. This is what intrigued me on the book jacket because I love movies. It doesn't hurt that Gilmour was CBC's tv movie critic through most of the 90s. I was also drawn to the fact this was a memoir about a father and son relationship. That aspect of life has always seemed strange and mysterious co ...more
hcelvis
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hey, was, zu Ende? Ich hätte doch noch so viel mehr wissen, erfahren wollen...
Dabei bricht das Buch nicht einfach so ab, nein es endet ordnungsgemäß und gut, schließlich wollen Jesse und David ja auch ein bisschen ihre Privatsphäre wieder haben. Und doch fühlt man sich mitten drin und es ist komisch, nicht zu wissen, wie es mit den beiden weitergeht.
Aber mal von vorne: David erlaubt seinem sechzehnjährigen Sohn Jesse, die Schule abzubrechen, wenn er sich bereit erklärt, drei Filme pro Woche zusa
...more
Lundy
Jun 24, 2008 rated it liked it
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 a
...more
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David Gilmour is a novelist who has earned critical praise from literary figures as diverse as William Burroughs and Northrop Frye, and from publications as different as the New York Times to People magazine. The author of six novels, he also hosted the award-winning Gilmour
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“...the second time you see something is really the first time. You need to know how it ends before you can appreciate how beautifully it's put together from the beginning.” 36 likes
“I mean that it's all right to go to bed with an asshole but don't ever have a baby with one.” 26 likes
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