[Videolib] Documentary about one man's obsession with a lost book -

Steve Fesenmaier (fesenms@wvlc.lib.wv.us)
Mon, 09 Feb 2004 09:30:21 -0500

Stone Reader Comes to West Virginia
By Steve Fesenmaier Feburary 9, 2004

Mark Moskowitz, the director of one of the best films of the year,
“Stone Reader,” has donated 5 copies of the special limited edition of 3
disks to five different non-profit organizations in the state. The five
organizations to receive them are : The West Virginia Library
Commission, Citizens Action Group, The West Virginia International Film
Festival, The Pocahontas County Free Libraries and MountainLit, a
website based at the Bridgeport Public Library that is about WV
authors. The disks are also autographed and sell for $39.95 on the
Stone Reader website. Only 4,000 copies were manufactured.
“The Stone Reader” was a phenomenal success in the world of readers –
ultimately causing the publisher of the lost book, “The Stones of
Summer,” to be re-published. Moskovitz visited libraries, scholars,
and friends to track down the author, Dow Mossman, who had spent his
life doing hand labor after suffering a nervous breakdown while writing
“The Stone of Summer.” He was presently working as a newspaper shipper.
Mark sent me the five copies, telling me to “auction or giveaway as you
see fit.” WVIFF and CAG will auction their two copies off at their
annual spring fundraiser auctions. I selected these five organizations
after discussing who should get them using a general e-mail and during
personal conversations. Mark approved the distribution in an e-mail.
Susan Hayden, WVLC literacy consultant and CAG board member, will
introduce the first showing of the film in WV as part of “Spring Fling
2004,”the spring state library conference. On Thursday, March 25th, at
3 PM at the Days’ Inn in Flatwoods, the film will be shown to
librarians. If you want to learn more about the film, or purchase the
special 3-disk version, check out the website at:
http://www.stonereader.net/thefilm.html. If you would like to show the
film to a group – a classroom, a community group, etc., contact Linda
Duchin at New Yorker Films, linda.duchin@newyorkerfilms.com.
Moskovitz is one of the friendliest filmmakers I have ever met in more
than 30 years exhibiting films. I called him last Friday after receiving
the films to thank him- and we talked for more than half an hour like we
were old friends. He makes his living making political commercials – “No
one knows me but insiders, “ he told me. But he has a vast sense of
humor and a level of concentration I have seldom encountered. He had
spent two days in Minneapolis with my colleagues at the University Film
Society, encountering Al Milgrom, a man of world-class obsession
himself. I told him various stories about my own library, cosmological
and cinematic obsessions that he reveled in. He may even come down to
the film premiere in Flatwoods if he can make the time. He also plans on
making it to the premiere of the “WV Film Week” in NYC if he can- he
travels to NYC frequently from his Pa. suburban home.
I originally contacted him when my friend Mitch Freedman, past-president
of ALA, booked a showing of his film at his Atlanta inauguration
presentation. He immediately responded – unlike 90 % of self-important
filmmakers – and said that it would take a while to get the film down to
WV. Thanks to him, and my oldest NYC friend Linda Duchin at New Yorker
Films, it will finally be taking place in March. Thanks to both of them
for everything.

Websites related to this story:

Stone Reader - http://www.stonereader.net/thefilm.html.
West Virginia Library Commission – Statewide Union Catalog -
WV Citizens Action Group - http://www.wvcag.org/
West Virginia International Film Festival - http://www.wviff.org/
Pocahontas County Free Libraries - http://www.pocahontaslibrary.org/
MountainLit at Bridgeport Public Library -

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