“You have to be a stranger to the landscape to regard it as a view.” — Geoff Dyer
“I wish I had your passion, Ray, misdirected as it may be. But it is still a passion.” — Terrence Mann to Ray Kinsella, in Field of Dreams
Author’s note: I’m delighted to be participating in the Glen Workshop this coming June, and would love you to join me to explore the personal (and American) dream narratives in cinema. The journey I took into this subject changed my life, and I hope we can have a similar impact in exploring the same questions together.
My new book Cinematic States takes a look at American myths in one of their most powerful forms. Looking at one movie from each of the fifty states of my adopted homeland I’m asking whether a Kansas yellow brick road really does lead to the end of the rainbow, and does it first have to pass through Colorado’s Overlook Hotel? Amidst the multipurpose woodchippers, friendly exorcists and faulty motel showers, resurrected baseball players and miracle-working gardeners, what do the stories we tell reveal about ourselves, and how can we reimagine who we are?
It was a fascinating experience to research the book, and I discovered immense wells of rich variety in this country that is so easily dismissed by many for its errors, real and perceived.