Alex Sheremet is a young writer from Belarus. As a poet, critic, and novelist, he became interested in film as a means of furthering his own art, and chose to stay because of everything else that film has taught him.
Alex’s debut novel, A Few Streets More To Kensington, deals with classic tropes of childhood – nostalgia, curiosity, and the wars of self – now transposed to the streets of Brooklyn, and examined through an artist’s reluctant gaze. Rich, melancholy, and contemplative, the tale follows its protagonist well into his teenage years, and inevitably asks the same questions that have already been parsed for millennia. Yet, for all that, violence, friendship, video games, femme fatales, 9/11, and Hasidic Jews abound, for while this may not have been your reality, it certainly was the narrator’s, and that of many others. The book, therefore, subsists on the ‘magic’ of the 1990s, and remains one of the few comprehensive depictions of that era – even as it transcends it, too.
Alex’s second book, Doors And Exits: Some Cues From A Study Of Two Extremes, is a ‘docudrama’ that probes the follies and accomplishments of the 21st Century, all within the world of a single, fictional school in New York City. Beginning with three philosophical axioms that, in the narrator’s mind, define the universe and its machinations, the book adjusts, rejects, and renews them till the very end. But while the book’s ‘place’ may be a fabrication, its conflicts are not, for its characters (kids, teachers, and those somewhere in between) have a reality someplace, somewhere, and will repeat themselves – ad nauseam – for as long as we’re recognizably human. This is the little-known difference between Truth and Reality, and Alex’s novel – a ‘genuine fake’! – straddles both.
Woody Allen: Reel To Real is the most comprehensive analysis of Woody Allen’s films ever published, and is the summation of everything that he’s learned thus far in cinema. Hailed as a “seminal” and “revolutionary” book by poet and critic Dan Schneider (Cosmoetica), Alex’s style of criticism is straightforward, beginning with a single assertion: that art can (and should!) be evaluated, and that a critic’s job is above all to evaluate. His hope is that the reader will come away knowing more of art and cinema as a whole, and be able to apply these ideas to new art-works in a way that’s logically consistent and self-sufficient, all the while avoiding the common pitfalls of artistic criticism. Woody Allen’s films are especially conducive to this view, for while not everyone has thought, felt, or suffered what his characters do, Woody’s creations still depict reality – however small a portion – and subsist within it. To miss this is to miss the work, and simply be left with one’s own biases and limitations.
Alex graduated Valedictorian of Macaulay Honors College in New York City with a BA in Classical Studies, English, and Education. His work has appeared on Cosmoetica, Blogcritics, Scholastic, and other publications. Alex lives in Queens, NY with his wife, and is currently working on a book-length poem about his experiences in the USSR.
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