Stone Reader - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stone Reader Reviews

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April 19, 2012
I dont care to watch.
½ January 29, 2012
Whether the book in question is the masterpiece it is claimed to be or not, The Stone Reader is a wonderful journey to take, especially for those interested in writing. Meandering at a pleasant pace the film investigates a book written in the 70's that received rave reviews, claiming it was the book of a generation. The book however wasn't successful, soon disappearing from shelves, and the writer never went on to write another book, simply disappearing from existence. SR is the journey one fan takes in trying to track down what happened to the author. And while he takes his merry old time, there is revelation at the end of the film that is truly rewarding. A very entertaining documentary!
October 4, 2011
so its a documentary like movie ..... not interested but i may watch it because its about books
½ September 5, 2011
An interesting little documentary about the passion we attach to books, reading and how we connect to other readers. The director buys a book, "The Stone Summer" while in his teens in the '70's. Tries to read it but gives up, letting it slide until he picks of up and finishes it 25 years later. Surprised by the quality of the story-telling he tries to find more on the author and finds absolutely nothing. So begins his quest to find this reclusive author, and ever wondering how can a writer publish a book so amazing and then simple dissapear into thin air. An entertaining if a bit abstract study in what it is to be a reader and a writer. Watch it with someone who loves to read, it makes for a great conversation.
September 26, 2010
This is a fascinating movie; I love listening to people talking about books and reading and such. And it provokes many thoughts about what constitutes success. It's a little tengential and, although I didn't find it boring, it could have been shorter or more to the point.
April 3, 2010
One of the most intriguing documentaries I've seen in quite awhile. "The Stone Reader" is the perfect film for literature nerds and avid book readers, a movie that is all at once (a) one man's quest to find the author of a book he admired from the 1970s, (b) a meditation on an individual's reading life, reading habits, and the unique relationship formed between author and reader (there's a very sad moment when the filmmaker reflects upon the death of Joseph Heller, the first literary author he felt had truly spoken to him), and (c) a striking argument about the state of the publishing industry, and how marketing demands can kill an aspiring writer's budding potential.

I really can't recommend "The Stone Reader" enough. The filmmaker sometimes comes across a little too heavy, but if you love literature, this is one of the few movies that will ever make you want to start reading (and reading voraciously) after the credits roll. There's a quick scene in which Moskowitz shows us his personal bookshelf, and as he discusses how it's organized, you start thinking, "Yeah, mine too. Oh, I've read that. That, too." Just as the film is a meditation on the conversation between author and reader, so too is the film a conversation between Moskowitz and his viewers: a conversation about all of the conversations we've unknowingly shared together.
½ February 28, 2010
A good doc to knit by. And as a reader it was interesting to hear the many discussions about successful first time novelists who never publish again.
November 16, 2009
not bad- the narrator was amusing to watch and the discussions about books were interesting. but it was a bit too long and the payoff- his conversation with Mossman- almost became something of a postscript because of it. worth watching, though, certainly. especially if you're a lover of fine literature. it was interesting enough to make me want to read Stones of Summer, so that's something.
June 7, 2009
Totally self-indulgent, totally elitist.
April 25, 2009
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April 20, 2009
my lovely kate winslet ride on your number fan gat your back
Super Reviewer
½ April 13, 2009
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.
March 25, 2009
An interesting account of a man's search for the author of a favorite book. His journey leads to many fascinating discussions about the many pleasures of reading, the struggles of the writers, etc.
March 15, 2009
The only thing this movie excels at is clearly revealing the inexcusable and blatant rudeness of Mark Moskowitz. Over and over and over again the camera captures his arrogant, self-important irreverence for sensitive people far more intelligent than he is. We alternated between cringing and angrily yelling at the screen as he rudely barged into the offices of publishers, authors, professors, and the library at the Iowa Writers workshop, expecting them to drop everything and come scrambling to his aid. Does he expect everyone to cower in awe at his intelligence? He carries the expectation that people will suddenly come to the astounding realization that he is uncovering the novel of the billenium. The truth is that it was a good book, but that's no excuse for bullying people.

An aside, is it really a mystery that some authors only publish one book? Isnt that alone a triumph? Maybe it was ok that it went out of print. Obscurity has its benefits, when you have self respect.

Of course, Dow Mossman's obscurity was shattered when he received the phone call that fateful night, and he encountered Mark's rude, interrupting ways. Part way through the first conversation with the reclusive writer, Mark hands the phone to someone else with no warning at all. After waiting impatiently, you then see his hand grabbing to get it back, with no regard for the fact that two old friends are catching up after years apart. Unbelievable. But the camera never lies.

The only reason the movie is worth seeing is that regardless of Mark's rudeness, you get to meet several choice characters, and they do not disappoint. Mossman himself is thoughtful, and generous, and somehow manages not to hear as Moskowitz interrupts his profound reflections on literature.

If you were equally unsatisfied with this documentary, may we suggest King of Kong? One of the key ingredients to a successful documentary is unbiased interest, and the ability to restrain the self from interfering with the subject's life!

Mark, if you are reading this, please watch the movie and honestly ask yourself if you could have been a little more sensitive with Dow. Near the end, you interrupt him and say "Let's go upstairs." The next thing you know, Dow is meekly following you around as you enter rooms and root through drawers with no permission, as far as we could see. You treat his posessions with no respect. You charge through his basement looking through things, and he doesn't say a word. If he were a different person, maybe you would have been told to get the h*ll out of there and leave his things alone.

One last thing. That moment when Dow shows us a picture of himself with a big bunny rabbit. He carefully pulls it out of an envelope, and sure enough in seconds Mark is grabbing for it. Dow doesn't give it to him, but gently unwraps the tissue paper and shows it to the camera. Mark grabs again, and this time you can see him holding it with no respect, his thumb squarely in the middle of the print, i'm sure leaving some big thumbprint on it.

I'm sure Dow is grateful to have his book back in print, and you brought him back from obscurity. But does that excuse your unspeakable and constant rudeness?

It's not too late to change.
½ February 28, 2009
Although it starts a little self indulgent, persistance is rewarded as it developes into a wonderful investigation into a small corner of pop culture. The long running time nearly scared me away, but i'm glad I stuck it out, by closing credits I wanted at least another ten mintues or so, just to flesh out the waining moments of the journey.
January 8, 2009
Not into documentary kind of movies
½ October 5, 2008
This is an example of a documentary that's interesting despite the relative incompetence of the filmmaker. As a documentary, it's kind of a failure-- important moments seem obviously staged, and the documentarian himself comes across as insufferably smug and downright pushy in some places ("Why is he barking out orders to people in their own homes?" is one question that my wife and I discussed while watching the movie). Nevertheless, there are some compelling moments in the film-- particularly the interview with the late, great Frank Conroy. So if you're a part of the "creative writing community" in America, you might find this film watchable because of the subject matter. In terms of craft, though, this film fails.
August 4, 2008
What a touching movie. The thing I love about Stone Reader is that it's just about...reading. Mark Moskowitz isn't some kind of intellectual snob, or a writer himself. He's just a guy who loves to read. The most disappointing part of the movie is that after watching it, and developing a fervent wish to read "The Stones of Summer", more often than not you just can't do it. I hope that someday, like Moskowitz, I'll pick it up again and be enraptured, but until then this will just serve as a fascinating story about a book, and what we do to our great writers (not a pretty picture). I'm so glad to have bought the
July 19, 2008
I was completely fascinated by this story, which turns a documentary into a mystery tale for bookworms. Not a bookworm myself I was really interested to see what happened if/when Moskowitz found the author of this book that captivated him so throroughly. Although the pacing of the movie is slow at times, it wasn't difficult to stay interested and keep watching.
½ July 3, 2008
If you love to read (or write) you should watch this movie, because you'll probably relate to Moskowitz's love of books and his journey.
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