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The Act of Reading

USA 2019
produced by
Mark Blumberg, Alissa Blumberg (executive) for Barrow House Films
directed by Mark Blumberg
starring Mark Blumberg, Janet Werner, Vicki Hebert, Elizabeth Doss, Alissa Blumberg, Peter Gansevoort Whittemore, Samuel Otter, John Cleary, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, Kristofer Blumberg, Rudy Cabrera, Maryanne Wolf, Peter Bergman
music by Nathan Felix

Moby Dick

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Ok, the premise of this movie sounds a lot like a really schmaltzy Hollywood feel-good movie: A student who has failed in his assessment to do a report about Moby Dick back in high school has done so many years later and now sets out to impress his teacher from back when. And yet, that's the kick-off point of this movie, with the student being filmmaker Mark Blumberg himself, the teacher being one Janet Werner - and fortunately despite its premise the film is anything but Hollywood dross but an actually pretty entertaining as well as interesting, very learned exploration on all things Moby Dick and Herman Melville in general, seeing the topic from quite a number of different perspectives, like a high school teacher (Vicki Hebert) trying to get her students interested in the subject, to a professor of English literature (Samuel Otter), from a playwright (Elizabeth Doss) doing a play on Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne, to an actual descendant of Melville (Peter Gansevoort Whittemore) who keeps the memory alive, and it even takes a detour throwing philosophy according to Socrates into the mix.


Now the outcome of all of this is a movie that's as much about Melville and his most famous book as it is about literature and reading as such, as it goes way beyond being just another analysis of the well-analysed novel or bio-piece about its very prominent writer, but a fascinating excursion into what's essentially the reader's mind - and after having seen this, chances are you'll want to pick up a book ... and it might as well be Moby Dick.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD