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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Movies about Writing

Thanks to Steve Laube's blog for this link--I haven't seen any of these!

Posted by
Jennifer Paull

5 Great Movies About Writing

The other night I slammed the brakes on a film—something I rarely do, but this one managed to be both florid and boring, like a PT Cruiser. It was Nora, a biopic of James Joyce. Even Ewan McGregor couldn’t save it, and he’s got plenty of lit-flicks to his name, from Pillow Book to Miss Potter.

Filming a writer’s working life is admittedly a tall order. Some famous writers may have throbbingly dramatic personal lives (when are we going to get Norman Mailer stabbing his wife?), but the work itself, what makes them great, is hardly cinematic. Scribbling with a pen, tapping at a keyboard, scratching things out, hitting a backspace key, hour after day after year… not exactly a feast for the peepers.

We’ve been debating whether or not books are particularly good fodder for film adaptations. But I also wonder whether great movies can be made about writing itself, one peculiarly mental art form translated to a visual medium. And not just a protagonist who’s a writer (cue the shaggily endearing crank à la Wonder Boys), but showing an author at work, conveying the euphoria of a good writing day or the frustration and sweaty palms of writer’s block.

Below are a few contenders. How about you? What would you recommend?

Find the 5 movie titles here.

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