A great book . . . Leaves you wanting to visit or revisit each movie and each place: personal yet universal, funny yet bittersweet. Let’s give it that ultimate critical cliche – here, rarely, fully deserved: it’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry.
—Nev Pierce, editor-at-large, Empire Magazine
This is really wonderful stuff. Thoughtful and unique and insightful and funny. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read, and it took me back to my childhood. The book creates SO MUCH good will by reminding us why we love movies . . .
— Scott Teems, director of That Evening Sun
Gareth Higgins has written a truly original and brilliant book . . . Higgins shows us America in the language we understand best—the movies—with a witty sympathy for his subject that cuts America (and all humans) some forgiving slack. Higgins lets us (as he puts it) “kneel at the altar of the white screen and insist that it answer . . . life’s questions” alongside him.
—Frank Schaeffer, New York Times best-selling author of Crazy for God and Sex, Mom, and God
To paraphrase Tennessee Williams, with Cinematic States Gareth Higgins is the opposite of the autobiographer, who gives you personal history that has the appearance of critical and political analysis. Gareth gives you art and political criticism in the pleasant disguise of autobiography.
—Monte Hellman, director of Two-Lane Blacktop and Cockfighter
Such a fantastic idea for a book that I’m almost shocked that no writer has thought of it before. But I am so glad Gareth Higgins is the writer who did think of it, and then made the journey that allowed him to set the words down. His combination of movie love, wit, sensitivity, perception, compassion and wisdom make Cinematic States a constant joy to read.
—Glenn Kenny, www.somecamerunning.typepad.com, former Chief Critic, Premiere magazine
One of the subtexts of Cinematic States is the way in which our understanding of America is informed more by media image than actual experience. Autobiography, too, is shaped by the way we reconstitute experiences into more or less pleasing narratives. In his Florida chapter, Higgins relates that visiting Disney World was one of the biggest letdowns of his life, in large part because the reality of long lines and crowded venues was and is so different from the idealized fantasy fueled by that intoxicating mix of enthusiastic imagination and commercial images…Cinematic States makes for the perfect airport book or holiday gift. There’s a little something for everyone. – Ken Morefield, www.1morefilmblog.com