April 05, 2016

Certain works of art have an occult way of finding us when we are most in need of them, of their example and wisdom and wit. One night recently I was considering ways to wiggle out of having to write a memoir, which I had insensibly signed a contract to do, and was moving alps of books from one corner of my library to another. There, atop a shelf, reemerged a gift from a friend in the South: not a book, but a DVD collection of the films of Ross McElwee, the North Carolina documentarian whose far-famed Sherman’s March is a charismatic masterwork of autobiographical filmmaking.