These are not only some of my favorite films about writers and writing, they’re also some of the best films for any movie junkie! As summer rolls around and you might need a writing break, I highly recommend watching these three.
Midnight in Paris
“No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure.”
Why this movie? It’s always fun to recognize all the Jazz Age writers such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald, though fair warning: they’re complete stereotypes of how the media remembers them. The protagonist, Gil Pender, is a screenwriter who wants to work on a novel. While venturing through the streets of Paris after midnight, he’s swept back in time to the Jazz Age and immerses himself in the Parisian culture of the period. This movie not only captures the writing struggles of trying to break into a different medium, it also discusses what it’s like to seek inspiration from both the past and present.
“A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving into a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore but to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water.”
Why this movie? Whether you’re a fan of poetry or a poet yourself, this cinematic portrayal of the relationship between John Keats and Fanny Brawne is both visually stunning and perfect for anyone fascinated by the creative process. I love the scenes which show John Keats composing his work. Another topic the movie touches on is Keats’s lack of income and financial dependence on another sponsor. It portrays the writer’s struggle to gain an income from one’s work while at the same time improve one’s craft.
Stranger than Fiction
“Because it’s a book about a man who doesn’t know he’s about to die and then dies. But if the man does know he’s going to die and dies anyway, dies willingly, knowing he could stop it, then… I mean, isn’t that the type of man you want to keep alive?”
Why this movie? Every writer visualizes his or her characters as real people, with thoughts and emotions just as important as you and I. Now… imagine if your character was real. That’s the situation author Kay Eiffel finds herself in. While writing her novel, her main character Harold Crick hears her narration in his head. The only problem? Her entire novel’s resolution centers around his death. The movie’s part hilarity, part satire of the “eccentric writer” image, and all parts thought-provoking. Our words carry serious weight behind them. While our main characters may not be as real as Harold Crick, they can still leave just as lasting an impact on other readers.