Friday, February 23, 2007

the top movie meme has me ruminating about all sorts of categories re: my favorite films. i have movies that i hate but are obsessed by anyway. and i have movies that i love but consider to be pieces of shit. e.g. close encounters of the third kind would fit into the first category, and a shitty late corman rip-off munchies is in the second category.

and but so, here is a very short list of favorite movies about writers. most movies about writers fail because the act of writing is not cinematic. watching somebody bent over a legal pad or computer screen or staring off into space is not compelling imagery. thus filmmakers must resort to telling the story about the fucked-up life of a writer, such as drugs, drinking, fornicating ad infinitum.

what the hell. here they are:

barfly [not a fan of bukowski so much, but this is a damn good film by barbet schroeder starring the brilliant, if erratic, mickey rourke and the sublime faye dunaway as 2 losers in love with booze and each other]

a fine madness [this sean connery-joanne woodward vehicle is the only film that comes close to approximating the poet's obsession with his/her work. connery simply is a bad-ass actor in my estimation and his poet character oozes wit, menace and sexuality]

mishima [based on the life of japanese novelist yukio mishima. a soaring score by philip glass illuminates the life and obsessions (yeah, i know that word again) of this fascinating writer and his work]

reuben reuben [tom conti protrays a dylan thomas-like character in this small film. conti's gowan mcgland has stopped writing but not given up the lecture circuit, booze and women. cliche and a tad trite but conti gives a knock-out performance]

where the buffalo roam [bill murray as gonzo journalist hunter s. thompson. a match made somewhere between heaven and hell]

that's about it. can't think of anymore off the top of my head. most movies made about writers i think suck. but being the poet that i am, i'm ever hopeful a good film about writers and writing will be made. in the meantime, there are a few here and there that ain't all that bad.

et tu? have favorite films about writers, then list them!


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