A View From the Dark: Movie Freak by Owen Gleiberman
The appetite publishers seem to have for printing the memoirs of even the most irrelevant movie personalities appears insatiable; so much so that in recent years this pseudo-gossipy, trivially anecdotal framework extends even to that most unlikely denizens of the cinema celebrity circus, the movie critic. If most biographies of writers seem perfunctory at best and redundantly irrelevant at their worst (why not read the author’s work and let them speak for themselves?), then a personal exploration into the life and times of the movie critic might find a particularly prominent position on the dais of the useless, for if one wishes to penetrate the individual critic’s mind, would not the best method be to read a collection of their opinions? That is, unless the writings of the critic were deemed unenlightening, or, worse yet, insincere.
Nowhere within the pages of Owen Gleiberman’s memoirs, appropriately titled Movie Freak is there a convincing argument for the necessity of the book. There are the usual accumulated influences which percolate in forming a person’s thoughts and aspirations, including a pronounced lifelong schism with his pathologically dispassionate father and intellectually stifled mother, which are rich in the pain such emotional remoteness can instill in a child of any age.
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