A must-read memoir about parenthood and the movies

When David Gilmour, the Canadian film critic and novelist, told his teenage son, Jesse, that he could drop out of high school if he watched three movies a week at home under his tutelage, Jesse probably thought he was getting a good deal, and David may have believed he had a clever concept for a stunt memoir. In fact, they both got much more: Jesse received a proper (if unconventional) education, and David wrote a touching, witty story about cinema, and how fathers and sons really interact.

In the book (on sale 5/6), the pair watch hundreds of movies, everything from Absolute Power to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, but they learn far more about each other: David watches his career slip off the rails, while Jesse struggles with his earliest romances and minimal job prospects. Eventually, they find that each man is exactly what the other needs in his life at that moment. When the project finally unravels, they’ve learned that an appreciation for art is impossible without an appreciation for their mutual fallibility.

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