Stone Reader (2003)
Stone Reader Photos
Critic Reviews for Stone Reader
It's rare enough when a documentary achieves cult status. Rarer still when it actually changes lives. The Stone Reader, a movie about the love of reading, manages to do both.
You're not likely to see a more impassioned and heartfelt tribute to the joy of reading.
It's an intimate look at the gears inside one person's head and a study of how an obsession, when handled judiciously, can be enlightening.
Moskowitz has made a wonderful film about readers and reading, writers and writing.
Audience Reviews for Stone Reader
This isn't a good documentary. Towards the end of the film the director says he doesn't feel like finishing the film and in my mind I thought that I felt the same way. This flick feels mashed together. He heads out on these trips to interview people about the book, spend a lot of his personal time and money to seek these people out, and he didn't even bother to ask if they remembered anything about the book before heading out. A lot of his problems could have been solved if he had asked "Do you remember anything about this book? No? Ok thanks anyway." Most of his interviews went downhill fast. Plus he seemed to talk most of time. I really didn't feel like sitting through anymore when he finally tracks down the author and plans to meet with him. I pushed through the last half hour as he interviews the guy and when the movie ends I was upset. We received no answers to any of the questions that he had been searching for through the whole movie. All we had we a couple of random stories from this mans life and not once did the director think to ask... why did you not write another book? This movie fails for a lot of reasons and the biggest one being the director being more interested in himself than the story he was supposed to tell.
The primary problem with this film is that the director imposes far too much of himself which is irrelevant to the film's purpose. While it is important to understand his relationship with this book, it is not necessary to watch several minutes of montage with voice-over of the director talking about his personal life, e.g. his schedule, his career, his family, things which in his perspective may have affected his making of the film, but are really just without impact or purpose. For being an avid reader, this obviously green doc director does not seem to understand much of the publishing industry, constantly questioning "How could this book slip through?" and yet never researching (reading up on) the publishing industry. His interviews are awkward; he doesn't always ask the right questions, but often his interviewee is intelligent enough to supplement these answers anyway. As a fiction writer, some moments tug at me emotionally, especially the agent's reaction to certain books and authors that are mentioned. This is really a movie for writers, not giving much informative insight into artistic process or the publishing industry, but more mere self-indulgence than anything.
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