Monday, 6 August 2007
In association with The Age Melbourne Writers' Festival, ACMI will present the Melbourne premiere 2002 season of Mark Moskowitz's Stone Reader (US, 2002) an enthralling feature-length documentary about one man's search across America to find elusive one-book novelist, Dow Mossman, who disappeared after writing a critically acclaimed novel in the 70s.
An obsessive reader, Moskowitz picked up Mossman's novel, The Stones of Summer in 1972 after reading a glowing review in The New York Times. He only managed 20 pages, but decades later picked up the book again and couldn't put it down.
Critics at the time compared Mossman's work to that of Joyce, Twain and Salinger. The New York Times book review read, 'This novel has a quality of greatness, that mad Dionysian stream that D.H. Lawrence perceived flowing through certain classics of American Literature'. Mysteriously Mossman then disappeared without a trace, his novel fading out of print.
Stone Reader, which won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Sundance Film Festival, follows Moskowitz on a pilgrimage across America, talking to critics, agents and editors connected to the novel in search of answers about how such a successful novelist could have vanished. The meandering journey becomes not only a search for Mossman, but also an enquiry into all the vanished genius of lost American literature.
'A great literary mystery. I've never seen a movie that paid more heartfelt tribute to the power of artistic invention.' J. Hoberman Village Voice
An emotional and poetic journey, Stone Reader reminds us in this age of technology how important great writers are and that we should not let them sail into oblivion.
For anyone who has felt transformed by reading a book, this film is as Stephen King describes it, 'a love sonnet to books and reading'.
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