The magic of books

The Booksellers (Heather O’Donnell, Rebecca Romney)

THE BOOKSELLERS, the film by American documentary film director D. W. Young, awakens two dreams in the pandemic-plagued Central European author: on the one hand, to travel to New York again – and, on the other hand, to spend hours browsing through bookstores and second-hand bookshops. The bookstores were allowed to be open most of the time, at least here in Berlin, but a quick decision, buy and disappear again was desired. However, it was preferred to buy from Jeff Bezos right away.

THE BOOKSELLERS immerses in the New York book world and observes booksellers, book collectors, book buyers, and book auctioneers. And the fact that the female representatives have to be explicitly mentioned here is also one of the themes of the film: in the past, the book business was purely a men’s business, until well into the second half of the 20th century. Women first had to fight for their rights.

The film is not only about a changing scene, it is also about a possibly dying scene, and surprisingly in two ways: On the one hand, digitization ensures the gradual decline in the meaning of the word and image printed between two book covers. On the other hand, the Internet also ensures that every rare, legendary, sought-after copy of a book is available almost directly and almost immediately via the Internet. The hunt, the year-long search that played a decisive role in the importance of this occupation, has degenerated into a mere query of a few Internet pages. „It’s not the kill. It’s the thrill of the chase. „

And what still excites you about this film is the specialty, the eccentricity, the whimsicality, the passion, the enthusiasm of all the protagonists. And we’re also happy to meet Fran Lebowitz again, who just appeared as a New York expert in Martin Scorsese’s enchanting interview film “Pretend It’s a City”, and who appears here as a book expert.

“In the 1950s there were 368 bookstores in New York City,” reports one of the booksellers. Today there are 79. But well, record stores still exist – and cinemas, I lean far out of the window now – will be around for a long time.

Running time: 99 min.

Production year: 2020

Country of production: USA

Directed by D. W. Young

Producers: Judith Mizrachy, Dan Wechsler

Co-Producer: Debra Mcclutchy

Production: Blackletter Films

With Parker Posey, Fran Lebowitz, Gay Talese and many more.

Camera: Peter Bolte

Music: David Ullmann

Executive Producer: Parker Posey

Distributor: mindjazz pictures

Available on Amazon Prime.

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