The Movie That Changed My Life

David Rosenberg, Editor Viking Books $21.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-84087-8
These 23 essays by leading writers are not so much reminiscences of ``the best movie I ever saw'' as an exploration of the diversity of filmgoing experience. For some, a movie provides a ``necessary seed'' for change--as did Z for Louise Erdrich, by offering a ``first view of the world'' when she was 13.184, 185 Others, like Russell Banks and Francine Prose, analyze how a film that pleased them as children ( Bambi and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers , respectively) sheds light on gender roles. Phillip Lopate shows how Diary of a Country Priest introduced him to ``a habit of mind that I may as well call spiritual, and a mental process suspiciously like meditation.''190 Through these epiphanies the book also reflects varieties of the personal essay, all of them revealing, as Joyce Carol Oates notes in her piece about Dracula , that we are ``involved in a ceaseless and bemused search for the self we used to be, as if this might be a way of knowing who and what we are now.''65 The anthology is eloquent testimony to movies as our most widespread means of examining our images and places in society. Rosenberg is the translator of The Book of J . First serial to Harper's and Mirabella . (Nov.ok )
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-14-016952-2
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