“This is really wonderful stuff. Thoughtful, unique, insightful, and funny. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read.”

That’s what Scott Teems, director of Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey and That Evening Sun, and writer for the hit TV series Rectify, says about Cinematic States, the new book by my friend, the Northern Irish film enthusiast and author Gareth Higgins.

Cinematic StatesMarc Cousins, the brilliant film scholar who created the best documentary series on cinematic history that I’ve ever seen, The Story of Film, calls this book “a thing of beauty.”

“His combination of movie love, wit, sinsitivity, perception, compassion, and wisdom make Cinematic States a constant joy to read.” So says the great film critic Glenn Kenny.

Me, I have found a kindred spirit. Like me, Gareth Higgins has taught the Image film seminar at The Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Like me, he’s a huge fan of Robert Altman, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Terrence Malick. And as with me, one of his role models is Kermit the Frog. He’s a born storyteller, and I could listen to him for hours (in fact, I have listened to him for hours). He seems to have more stories to draw from his personal experience than most human beings twice his age.

I don’t read very many books about movies. That’s because it’s hard to find books about movies that are personal, passionate, and interested in more than just the movies themselves. In Cinematic States, Higgins explores every state in America by considering important films that are set there. And in doing so, he also reveals a personal geography full of compelling stories and poignant observations. It’s a road trip and a film festival. And it can be yours. You don’t have to pay anything — I already paid the full price for this copy just for the privilege of supporting Gareth’s work and the joy of sharing it.

I’d love to give you an autographed copy of this book, which I’ve enjoyed so much. Before I draw a name from this hat, be sure your name is inside! Here’s how:

Send me a paragraph or two about the movie (or movies) that best capture the character, the spirit, the details of your neighborhood, or your city, or your state.

You can submit your entry as a Comment, or you can email it to me at joverstreet@gmail.com.

I’ll accept submissions until Thanksgiving Day, so get going! Time is short.

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