Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Movies about Writers


The last movie I watched about a writer was Howl, the story of the legal battle over Allen Ginsberg‘s famous poem.

Movies about Writers

Image Courtesy of Alek von Felkerzam ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/pushbeyond-31466

As a writer, I think watching movies is an excellent way to absorb the craft of storytelling.

Even though the approaches differ in certain critical ways, you can “translate” between them.

In fact, the legendary director and producer, Francis Ford Coppola, said he preferred being inspired by reading short stories rather than movie scripts.

I found a copy of the Portland Press Herald with an article called Fraught with Peril: Making a Movie about Writers and Writing.

It focuses on a recent movie called Genius about Thomas Wolfe but also spotlights 10 other Writer-Movies.

I’ll list the movies here and leave it to you to check out the article for short blurbs about each (plus, a longer look at Genius…):

THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA (1937)

SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)

THE FRONT (1976)

MY BRILLIANT CAREER (1979)

CROSS CREEK (1983)

BARTON FINK (1991)

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (1998)

WONDER BOYS (2000)

ADAPTATION (2002)

THE HOURS (2002)

If you’ve watched any of these, I hope you’ll leave a comment with your short (or, long) review :-)
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3 responses to “Movies about Writers

  1. Jane Watson June 29, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I have seen ‘My Brilliant Career’, ‘Shakespeare in Love’, ‘Adaptation’ and ‘The Hours’. I enjoyed ‘Shakespeare in Love’ as it was a visually beautiful movie – it was not based on a book but rather on the life of the young Shakespeare re-imagined. The other 3 were based on actual books. ‘My Brilliant Career’, written by ‘Miles Franklin’, is about a young Australian girl, Sybylla, and documents her great desire to be a writer rather than get married and to follow the traditional path for a girl at that time. It was written in 1901 (and self-published) by Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, at the age of 16, under the male pseudonym of Miles Franklin and is one of the most inspiring and considered to be one of most important Australian literary works. We have 2 literary awards established now to honour Miles Franklin – The Miles Franklin Award is our most generous, being endowed by ‘Miles Franklin’ herself after her death and in the last few years The Stella Award has been set up as well. The film of the book was directed by Gillian Armstrong who is a brilliant film director and the movie reflected that. ‘The Hours’ is a movie of a wonderful book by Michael Cunningham. It tells the story of 4 women across time who reflect the life of Virginia Woolf and who are reading her famous novella, ‘Mrs Dalloway’ (one of my favourite novellas) . I did not enjoy the film as much as the book, despite its amazing cast of Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. I have left ‘Adaptation’ to last because it is such an amazingly inventive, weird and unusual work, directed by Spike Jonze and starring Nicholas Cage. Supposedly being the attempts by a blocked writer to write the screenplay for Susan Orlean’s actual non-fiction book ‘The Orchid Thief’, it is so much more….

    All very much worth watching or reading…..:-)
    Just my 2¢ worth :-) Others may disagree with me:-)

    Miles Franklin
    Adaptation

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 29, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Whoa, Jane!

      That’s impressive!! That you’ve seen all those, that is

      And, thanks for giving your reviews :-)

      Like

  2. Pingback: #Writers & #Movies | Notes from An Alien

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