The Film Club

I heard about David Gilmour's The Film Club months ago. I was intrigued by it but also hesitant. I wasn't a big fan of his Perfect Night To Go To China (I didn't hate it but it certainly didn't make any of my best of lists) and after reading it I really didn't know what to expect in a memoir from him. I stuck it on my library request list and when I went to the library yesterday it was actually sitting on the one-week popular release shelf so I picked it up.

After watching his son Jesse struggle with high school Gilmour decided to let him drop out in tenth grade. He wasn't going to have to pay rent or get a job. He wasn't going to be homeschooled, at least not exactly. Gilmour had one condition - every week he and Jesse would sit down and watch movies together. Gilmour had, probably a better than most, background in movies thanks to interviewing so many involved in the industry.

Every week for several years the two of them would sit down and watch movies ranging from Hitchcock, to film noir, to Striptease. Gilmour always had a bit to say about the movies, sometimes pointing out to Jesse scenes and moments that he should pay attention to.

Through this the two became quite close. It seemed to open up avenues that allowed them to discuss many subjects that parents have trouble getting into - Jesse's love life, drugs, sex. Not everything was rosy all the time but the two got to watch each other make mistakes.

I liked this - quite a bit. There's a good father-son dynamic. I liked that Gilmour was very honest about how he was really worried about letting his son drop out of school even though he felt it was the right thing to do. I liked that when he spoke to other people he was defensive. He didn't just do it and say, "This was the best idea ever." And I liked that his son let him write this book (no one really wants to have their teenage angst preserved for all to see).

I kind of wished I had read this before I read A Perfect Night To Go To China. I think after reading this book I understand Gilmour better and might understand the character in that novel a bit better as well.