From my list on appreciating the films of Fredrick Wiseman.
Who am I?
I’ve loved cinema since I was 9 years old growing up in New York City and my grandmother took me to see The Ten Commandments at the Paradise Theater, Loew’s magnificent flagship theater in the Bronx. The theater’s famous canopy of twinkling stars on the ceiling was the perfect magical venue, and I was thunderstruck not only by the epic sweep of the movie but also by the opulence of the theater, which mirrored the monumental pyramids that Ramses constructs in the film. Ever since, my passion for movies has been as all-consuming as DeMille’s jello sea was for the infidel Egyptians who doubted the power of special effects and cinematic illusion.
Barry's book list on appreciating the films of Fredrick Wiseman
Why did Barry love this book?
Another book with an episodic structure, The Confidence-Man concerns an assorted group of Mississippi steamboat passengers whose individual hypocrisies are confronted by the mysterious character of the title.
Melville’s ship of fools features a variety of types, some of whom are caricatures of American literary figures including Emerson, Hawthorne, and Poe. The book was published in 1857 on April Fool’s Day, an irony equal to the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula on Valentine’s Day, and a gesture that Wiseman, himself a great ironist, surely would appreciate.
Certainly, it is no surprise that Wiseman has referred to The Confidence-Man as his favorite novel. One might even find Melville’s elaborate prose style analogous to Wiseman’s careful editing and his ability to confront spectators with their own biases and preconceptions, as the eponymous confidence-man does in the book.