Now that's dissin Thomson, indeed!
[Yes, NoFake, I happened to hear Desson Thomson on NPR this very morning.]
But thank you, keats, for giving me an opportunity to reprint a thumbnail preliminary review of the first volume of our modern San Francisco Don Quijote's Autobiography, TRY TO TELL THE STORY, as found in the current Alfred A. Knopf's Borzoi Reader:
Try to Tell the Story
Written by David Thomson
Biography & Autobiography - Entertainment & Performing Arts; Biography & Autobiography - Literary; Performing Arts - Film - History & Criticism
February 2009 $23.95 978-0-375-41213-4 (0-375-41213-1)
"One of our most celebrated film critics and historians now gives us the story of his first eighteen years, growing up an only child in south London in the mid-forties and late fifties. At the heart of this story is David Thomson’s profound sadness at being abandoned by his father, who visits only on weekends, and keeps, as Thomson later discovers, another household.
"A matriarchy of his mother, grandmother, and an upstairs tenant, Miss Davis, raises him, to which he adds an imaginary sister, Sally. Thomson gives a vivid picture of London in the aftermath of the war, whether it is his grandmother bringing him to a street corner to see Churchill, or the bombed-out houses that still smelled of smoke where, though forbidden, he played. Movies were his great escape, and the worlds revealed in Henry V, Red River, The Third Man, and Citizen Kane became part of his rich, imaginative life, one that would gain him a scholarship to public and eventually film school. And though his father put on skits with him, took him to see the stars of cricket, tennis, boxing, and soccer, he could never really give this stammering boy the affection he needed.
"Romantic, restrained, and tautly written, Try to Tell the Story is a haunting and unsentimental look at the fragility of family relationships."
Thank you, keats, for giving me the excuse to quote this insightful piece, which gives us some clue to Thomson's deep love for, and debt to, Orson Welles, and other great film makers of the 1940's.
I'm sure that many of us, including yourself, and unlike Toddy Baesen, will be eager to actually read of the formative years which shaped the man many here love to hate. To actually know of what one speaks is so much more useful than simply guessing, or depending upon hearsay.
As is often been the case in recent months, keats, you have been invaluable.