[percy-l] Walker Percy Documentary

Beck, David A dabeck at iupui.edu
Wed May 25 12:14:55 EDT 2011

I agree with Cindy. The documentary is a good intro to Percy. It's good 
to see the scholars she mentioned being interviewed. My main problem 
with it is that it seems incomplete. While I realize they probably had 
time constraints, I was disappointed that they never mentioned Lancelot 
or Thanatos. (I don't think they did much with LG and SC, but I can't 
remember for sure.) LIR and MG are the books that are discussed the 

Still, it's worth the money. I'll probably show it to my students next 
year, when we discuss Lancelot.


Quoting Cindy Montgomery Webb <cgmwebb at gmail.com>:

> Re: John Riley's question about the Percy documentary.  The 2010 film is now
> available on DVD.  The documentary contains some insightful interviews with
> Percy scholars (i.e. Linda Whitney Hobson, Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Jay Tolson,
> Paul Elie) and Percy's fellow writers and friends (Richard Ford, Ben
> Toledano, respectively).  Much of the film considers Percy's personal life
> and shows how these events connect to his writing.  Percy's haunting
> childhood and experiences gained while living with uncle William Alexander
> Percy segue into Walker's own considerations of honor and tradition in later
> writings. His teenage and adult adventures with Shelby Foote include an
> excursion to Santa Fe as "the land of pure possibility," a place not weighed
> down by a sense of history, which Percy addressed in The Last Gentleman.
> Percy's experience of being "trapped" into the Southern writer label is also
> developed in the documentary as are discussions of philosophical, religious,
> and semantic concerns throughout his career.  The documentary seemed a bit
> short at only sixty minutes long, but that lends itself well to
> instructional use. I would say that it presents a good range of Percy's
> concerns in writing and in life and offers a strong introduction, or even
> synopsis, of his work in interesting ways.
> A short preview of the film and more information can be found at:
> http://www.walkerpercymovie.com/watchashortprevi.html
> -Cindy Montgomery Webb
> University of North Carolina at Greensboro
> Dept. of English
> PhD candidate

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