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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Films About Writers & Writing

I like film just as much as reading and writing. Trying to depict the writing process on film is rarely successful, since most of the "action" takes place in the writer's mind.

But here are some interesting, entertaining (and scary) movies about writers and the writing process:

WONDER BOYS (2000) - Based on the novel by Michael Chabon, this movie is really about procrastination and aging. The protagonist has been stuck on his unfinished Great American Novel for years, while younger and hungrier colleagues are experiencing their first major success. How does one fail gracefully? A love song to the loser in every writer.

IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, (a.k.a. JOHN CARPENTER'S IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994)) - This is a guilty pleasure. A horror hackwriter, inspired by Stephen King and H.P.Lovecraft, becomes so successful that his books become real. Silly, yes, but makes you think about what fiction means to people.

MISERY (2000) - based on Stephen King's novel, this is a writer's own personal nightmare: the crazed fan who won't let him "bury" a popular character - she'd rather bury him!

BARTON FINK (1991) - may not be to everyone's taste, but it has several interesting things to say. First, this writer protagonist is an unpleasant, pretentious character - he thinks he's writing for "the common man" but he's not. Second, it portrays a writer who sells out to Hollywood - and fails. Third, it deals with writer's block.

Enjoy these movies when you're stuck in your own writing...

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