Crying at the Movies by Madelon Sprengnether
A Film Memoir

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"For years, I cried, not over my own losses, but at the movies. When bad things happened to me in real life, I didn't react. I seemed cool or indifferent. Yet in the dark and relative safety of the movie theater, I would weep over fictional tragedies, over someone else's tragedy."

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 the fascinating memoir Crying at the Movies, 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 Cement Garden, Shadowlands, and Blue--Sprengnether finds a way to work through her own losses, mistakes, and pain.


About Madelon Sprengnether

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Madelon Sprengnether is Professor of English at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches critical and creative writing. She is the author of a book of poems, The Normal Heart; a collection of personal essays, Rivers, Stories, Houses, Dreams; and she has co-edited a colleciton of travel writing by women, The House on Via Gombito.
Published May 10, 2011 by Graywolf Press. 252 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Crying at the Movies

Kirkus Reviews

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It doesn’t help when she distastefully cranks up the volume with frequent disquieting references to sibling incest .

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Publishers Weekly

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In these insightful essays, even the writing itself is cinematic, as Sprengnether's memories and quick film summaries meld into one another, making it seem as if the author hasn't just seen many movies, but has actually lived one.

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Spirituality & Practice

Reviews Philosophy About Our Affiliates Books & Audios Recently Reviewed Films can be a catalyst to deep and valuable inner work.

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Project MUSE

We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide.

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