by, about, and (for the most part) for book-lovers
This movie will probably be seen by too few people, and those who do see it will be stone bibliophiles, like Mark Moskowitz. I found it absorbing, mostly delightful, and more than a little depressing. It's sad to realize that an obviously gifted artist like Dow Mossman, the author of The Stones of Summer, can be virtually unknown, either in his day or since. Obviously, to devote the kind of energy and commitment to the writing of a serious novel had better be enough of a reward in itself; the high likelihood is that the writer will reap very few more concrete benefits. At least Mossman was fortunate enough to have attracted the attention of a highly-motivated, bibliophilic filmmaker who was able to mark his achievement with this movie. Not least among the pleasures of the film was the chance to sit in on conversations among a literate and personable bunch of people who share Moskowitz's passion for literature. Having never had the opportunity to read the Mossman book, I wish it were more readily available; given the economics and realities of publishing--even bleaker today, I think, than thirty years ago--I am afraid that I may never get the chance to do so. I suspect a lot of movie-lovers might find this less than involving. I'm glad Moskowitz made it, and hope that it gains the recognition it deserves, even though I am afraid that its fate, like that of the novel it celebrates, will be that of a tree falling in a forest with maybe two or three people around to hear the sound.
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