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The Stone Reader (2002)

Cast: Carlo Brandt, Carlo Brandt, Frank Conroy, more...
Director: Mark Moskowitz, Mark Moskowitz
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: New Yorker Video
Genre: Documentary, Independent, Biographies
Languages: English
    see additional details...

In 1972, 18-year-old Mark Moskowitz read a positive review in the New York Times Book Review that inspired him to get a copy of Dow Mossman's novel, The Stones of Summer. An avid reader, Moskowitz found himself unable to get through the book, and set it aside after 20 pages. Twenty-five years later, he finally picked it up again, this time reading it all the way through. Moskowitz was thrilled with the book, and immediately began looking for the author's other works. There weren't any. At this point, Moskowitz, who earns his living making political advertisements, began making a documentary, Stone Reader, which depicts his search for Mossman. He tracks down the writer of the original Times review, along with teachers, editors, agents, and other authors whom he thinks might have known Mossman or might have some insight into what happened to the author. He talks to critic Leslie Fiedler and author Frank Conroy, the head of the Iowa Writers Workshop, among others. Moskowitz tries to understand how it's possible for an author to write one outstanding book as a young man and then seemingly disappear. He also explores his own rewarding lifelong relationship with literature. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

This disc contains the feature film.

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Stone Reader (2002)
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7.28 (54 votes)
The Stone Reader (Bonus Disc) (2002)
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7.25 (12 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

A joy for bookworms, plus a bonus by underdog December 5, 2007 - 10:05 PM PST
I echo Talltale's comments on this documentary, it's incredibly rewarding even if at first I worried about how involved in the film Moskowitz placed himself, but it all quickly makes sense. It's a personal obsession, which becomes a fascinating mystery about what happens to a writer who creates one great work and then disappears, as if a quickly flickering flame that then bursts into light, before being extinguished. What's most touching is Mossman's appearance and story.

On that subject, if you're as involved in his story as I became, you'll also want to check out the audio commentary here, which features the reclusive author and the filmmaker chatting about the film and the people in it, and more about himself; it's quite revealing and he's amazingly articulate for someone so shy and modest and out of this world for 30 years. And there's a happy ending of sorts here, too.

Any book junkie will not want to miss this one.

"Stone" Movie by talltale May 3, 2004 - 12:54 PM PDT
7 out of 9 members found this review helpful
It's always a pleasure to encounter a one-of-a-kind movie, and STONE READER is definitely that--plus a lot more. It's a paean to novels in generals, to reading and all that it can bring you, and to unsung authors everywhere. It's also a mystery: What happened to the man who wrote this book that's supposed to be so wonderful yet so little read. The film delivers on all counts and is fascinating every step of the way. If, toward the end, it begins mixing and matching in odd bursts, you'll forgive the editing. Mostly likely the director/co-subject Mark Moskowitz simply wanted to communication his sense of drowning in shock and joy. The movie's title, I believe, has a double meaning. The book in question is "The Stones of Summer," but "stone," if I recall the patois from the 1970s, also means that someone hugely loves, gravitates toward or is really good at a particular thing. By that definition, Moskowitz is definitely a "stone" reader, and we viewers are the luckier for it.

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