A Movie

Don Olson, Author, Donald S. Olson, Author
Don Olson, Author, Donald S. Olson, Author Meadowland Books $8.95 (169p) ISBN 978-0-8216-2008-3
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
The concept of film as escapism takes on a new dimension in Olson's ( Paradise Gardens ) competently written, disturbing tale of a young man who thrives on fantasies that ultimately grow beyond his control. Gene Swenson exists for the movies and copes with ``the cold comfortless chill of unfilmed reality'' by pretending he is a great actor (or actress): playing out favorite scenes to movie soundtracks, generously granting interviews (in his mind) and imagining that he is followed by his own private, sympathetic movie camera that films his life. Gradually, Gene loses control of his unreal camera; it seems to become a ``dead glass eye'' that tracks him, watching him secretly when he doesn't want to be seen. His hermetic condition spirals downward as his younger sister disappears, his long-lost and unwanted father reappears, he loses both of his part-time jobs (one has him running inside an exercise machine much like a hamster wheel), befriends an artist who, on her own road to madness, paints Gene as a black smudge in the corner of her self-portrait, and is abandoned by his lover, a German businessman who callously exploits him. ( May )
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