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New Ways of Seeing: House of Leaves

From Amy Dotson, NWFC Director and PAM Curator, Film & New Media

A brilliant, difficult-to-describe documentary chronicling a house that takes on a life of its own, House of Leaves is a cinematic adventure worth taking. At once a romance, a horror story and the poignant tale of one young man slowly losing his grip on reality, the book (that’s right, it’s a novel!) is incredible in its fun-house like use of text and language, making the reader work as if they’re diving deep into a VR tale or working through a story with a good old-fashioned decoder ring. For those who love footnotes and typography, the book is also a wild ride, asking readers to go sideways, circle back, and find clues amongst its edges. Literally. A cult favorite amongst everyone from experiential designers and sci-fi filmmakers alike, add this to your Netflix cue, I mean book club list, to dive into something new over the long July 4th weekend and experience cinema unbound right in your reach. 

House of Leaves
A novel by Mark Z Danielewski
United States
Genre: Horror, Romance, Satire, Postmodernism
Publisher: Pantheon, Random House
Publication Date: March 7, 2020
Media Type: Print (paperback and hardcover

“Danielewski…weaves around his brutally efficient and genuinely chilling story a delightful and often very funny satire of academic criticism.” – Steven Poole, The Guardian.

“Danielewski’s achievement lies in taking some staples of horror fiction – the haunted house, the mysterious manuscript that casts a spell on its hapless reader – and using his impressive erudition to recover the mythological and psychological origins of horror, and then enlisting the full array of avant-garde literary techniques to reinvigorate a genre long abandoned to hacks.” – Steven Moore, The Washington Post