Adventures in Moviegoing with Jonathan Lethem

Inside Criterion / On the Channel — Mar 23, 2017

Acclaimed author Jonathan Lethem wears his movie love on his sleeve in genre-hopping novels like the noir-inflected Motherless Brooklyn and the darkly satiric Chronic City, which opens with its protagonist paying a visit to the Criterion Collection. The cinematic inspirations for his latest book, A Gambler’s Anatomy—think Jeremy Irons and Eyes Without a Face—are just one subject among many that Lethem discusses with Heidi Julavits, author and coeditor of the Believer, in the latest installment of our Adventures in Moviegoing series. In the clip below, he talks about how films like John Cassavetes’s Faces have marked the watershed moments in his life. Head over to the Channel to watch the full interview, in which Lethem recounts how his mother initiated him as a child into the seedy world of New York repertory theaters and explains why he’s too much of a tyrant to give up literature for filmmaking. The conversation is accompanied by some of Lethem’s favorite films, including Blake Edwards’s The Party and David Cronenberg’s Scanners.