About Me

Stephen Zelnick grew up in Philadelphia, the child of immigrant parents, and attended city schools, movie theaters, and the local city university. He earned a Ph.D from the University of Illinois and returned to become a professor at Temple University. He retired in 2011. His life has been wonderfully various — truck driver, amusement park ride mechanic, jazz musician, newspaper editor, university administrator — and filled with marriages, children, love and errors. He lived for several years in Puerto Rico, worked and traveled in Central Asia, and now resides in Santa Cruz, CA. After eighty years, he claims the right to be opinionated – engaged politically, not entirely liberated and tamed to contemporary tolerances, with deep thought and sly humor.

An Unusual Book
to Start Off With

Dreaming in the Dark reviews 125 films devoured during the COVID isolation and published first for the amusement of Facebook friends. The reviews follow the essay tradition of reflections on life, with an effort to reproduce experiencing the film and personal recollections. What did the film mean in its historical moment and for us now? Movies are more than entertainments and distractions. How do these films inspire us to live better lives and work for a better world? The films are the great ones of the classic era (1940-1980), from Hollywood, but also from Japan, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, and the UK. We love these films and for good reasons.


Check Out Some Publications From Stephen Zelnick On This Link