Crying At The Movies: A Film Memoir

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Graywolf Press, 2002
244 pp.

At age nine, Madelon Sprengnether watched her father drown in the Mississippi River. Her mother swallowed the family’s grief whole and no one spoke of the tragedy thereafter. Only years later did Sprengnether react, and in a most unlikely place: in the theater watching the film Pather Panchali, by Satyajit Ray.

In this fascinating memoir, Sprengnether looks at the sublime connections between happenings in the present, troubling events from the past, and the imagined world of movies. By examining the films she had intense emotional reactions to throughout her adult life–House of Cards, Solaris, Fearless, The Piano, The Cement Garden, Shadowlands, and Blue–Sprengnether finds a way to work through her own losses, mistakes, and pain.

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