‘Film Club’ – Buy a Ticket – Review by Dan O’Neill
Fathers and Sons – a perennial topic for artists and fabulists since biblical times. What makes for a good relationship? As a male, do you want your Dad to be like a father or a friend? How hard is it to be a parent? Writer David Gilmour, no, not the Pink Floyd man, discusses these issues and more in his charming and occasionally moving ‘The Film Club’. This is an account of how Dave took his son out of formal school and educated him from Home. Well, educated is a lose word in this context. His imparting of knowledge consisted of him and the son watching movies. Yes, movies. But you see, there’s a lot we can learn about real life and also art from film; ‘Citizen Kane’ and how it looks at the corrupting influence of power and money, ‘Dr Strangelove’ and the ironic take on Armageddon and ‘Dirty Harry’ for, er, some great Clint Eastwood lines and the blowing away of the bad guy. Jesse and his father watched all these and more; this was the youngster’s curriculum and while he didn’t take to every movie, he was able to bond with his Dad when watching most of them. They would discuss the keypoints of each film after viewing; an interesting education.
Dave is a classic trendy Liberal and finds the theory of bringing up his son through the medium of movies to not always be as he imagined. He writes of his son’s heartbreak and dalliance with drugs and Dave the Dad really struggles at times to stay strong while his son goes of the rails. There really is no instruction book on how to be a parent and this becomes more apparent and the father wonders if he’s doing the right thing by having taken his son out of formal schooling. How does it all work out for the two in the end? Well, you’ll just have to buy the book. This is an enjoyable (and relatively short) read and if you’ve ever been a father or a son you’ll appreciate it even more. Film is not real life but there are enough parallels to make it a reference point as to how we can live or behave when it comes to certain values. Perfect ‘light’ reading with a serious, but also frequently entertaining, message.
‘The Film Club’ David Gilmour (Ebury Press)