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Monday, June 30, 2003
I saw the film documentary Stone Reader last week. It was a very satisfying reflection on the reading life.
Books can move us, though this is rarely portrayed in movies. Some time ago, I watched Orange County, and in the first few minutes of that movie, the lead character spends a summer reading and rereading a book that makes him decide he wants to be a writer. The book simply changes his life, and it's the launch pad for the main plot of that movie.
Mark Moskovitz's documentary is in a similar vein. The book The Stones of Summer captured his imagination in a such a forceful way that he wanted to read other books by the same author, Dow Mossman. However, as he dove into the library, and the Internet, he not only discovered that the author didn't publish anything else, there was barely anything published about the author. So Mark goes on a journey to try to learn all that there is about the author.
Along the way, we learn about book publishing, book reading, and book reviewing. We learn about Mr. Moskovitz's deep love of reading, and the books that have affected him. We learn (or are we reminded?) that in the reverie of reading, the mind is actively constructing a world that the author builds, and this intimate action is incredibly unique, and incredibly engaging. Finally, we do learn about Dow Mossman, and the price of creativity, coupled with commerce.
This was a wonderful, thoughtful movie.