Synopses & Reviews
David Gilmour is a very unlikely moral guidance counselor: he's broke, more or less unemployed and has two children by two different women. Yet when it looks as though his teenage son is about to go off the rails, he reaches out to him through the only subject he knows anything about: the movies. The result is an object lesson in how fathers should talk to their sons. --Toby Young, author of How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
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 movies a week of his father's choosing.
Week by week, side by side, father and son watched everything from True Romance to Rosemary's Baby to Showgirls, and films by Akira Kurosawa, Martin Scorsese, Brian DePalma, Billy Wilder, among others. The movies got them talking about Jesse's life and his own romantic dramas, with mercurial girlfriends, heart-wrenching breakups, and the kind of obsessive yearning usually seen only in movies.
Through their film club, father and son discussed girls, music, work, drugs, money, love, and friendship - and their own lives changed in surprising ways.
"I loved David Gilmour's sleek, potent little memoir, The Film Club. It's so, so wise in the ways of fathers and sons, of movies and movie-goers, of love and loss." Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Empire Falls
"If all sons had dads like David Gilmour, then Oedipus would be a forgotten legend and Father's Day would be a worldwide film festival." Sean Wilsey, author of Oh the Glory of It All
"Tender... a beautiful, unvarnished portrait of fathers and sons — irregular, flawed, and full of heartbreak and heart." Newsweek
"Both for its smart, engaging movie talk and for its touching depiction of a father-son relationship, The Film Club gets two thumbs way up." Booklist
"A charming memoir filled with moments of insight and wit . . . Gilmour's description of the growing rapport between father and son is funny and heartwarming." Miami Herald
"Wise, hilarious and sometimes screwy . . . refreshingly candid . . . an inspiring change of pace from the way fathers usually are depicted . . . Although Gilmour is not the perfect role model in the relationship department, his advice to Jesse about his painful girlfriend problems is warm and wise, with just the right amount of adult bluntness. The Film Club is a highly lovable book. There are some great factoids about a wide canon of movies, both highbrow and low, and the relationship between father and son is enough to make dads cool and relevant again." Kevin Sampsell, Portland Oregonian
About the Author
David Gilmour is the author of six novels, including A Perfect Night to Go to China, which won the 2005 Governor-General’s Award for fiction in Canada. His work has been praised by William Burroughs, Northrop Frye, and People magazine. Gilmour worked for the Toronto international Film Festival before moving into a broadcasting career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), where he served as the national film critic for the country's flagship news show, The Journal. He went on to host his own talk show on CBC's Newsworld, Gilmour on the Arts, which won a Gemini Award.