As long as there’s been a holiday season, there have been writers inspired by it. During this 2020 pandemic holiday, we’ll likely be spending a lot of time couchbound and watching movies. So, here’s a roundup of some of the best films about writers, literature, writing and publishing.
Few musical formats have had the comeback narrative that vinyl has in the last decade or so. A new documentary film, Vinyl Nation, explores the enduring appeal of LPs and the subculture that’s grown around them recently — including the rise of Record Store Day. I talked with directors Kevin Smokler and Christopher Boone to learn more about the film’s origins and how the project came to fruition.
Around these parts, we are huge admirers of the works of Dennis Cooper, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, novels told in GIFs or his comprehensive blogging. Recently, Cooper has been working on a film, Permanent Green Light, in collaboration with Zac Farley. Later this month, it will be shown at the Rotterdam Film Festival, and a trailer has been released–which uses minimal music and one image that’s beyond unsettling to powerful effect.
At first glance, legendary film editor Walter Murch seems like an unlikely choice for a literary muse. Murch is a groundbreaking figure in film, to be sure–and, as an author, he’s written the acclaimed In the Blink of an Eye, about the craft he’s helped shape. Waves Passing in the Night: Walter Murch in the Land of the Astrophysicists is actually the second nonfiction work by an already-admired author that’s taken Murch as its subject. The first is Michael Ondaatje’s […]
Speaking as someone who’s been intrigued by Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner for a long time now, I found Paul M. Sammon’s Future Noir to be a fascinating look at the film’s creation, production, and subsequent placement in the cult canon. With Blade Runner 2049 out this fall, Sammon revisited Future Noir with a host of updates and additions. Via email, we discussed Blade Runner‘s influence, the challenges of adapting Philip K. Dick, and more.
I never met Vivian Maier and doubt whether we’d have gotten along if I had. Taciturn, solitary people obsessed with their own struggles don’t often make friends. Yet we walked the same streets, went the same places. We probably crossed paths more than once, but it was as strangers—the way so many do in the city—never meant to know one another as anything but passersby. Now, many, many strangers know Maier, or think they do. She probably wouldn’t like the […]
Ask me about my literary influences, and I’ll reflexively cite what I imagine is the usual collection of MFA-program darlings for an American man in his 30s: Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Lorrie Moore, Tobias Wolf, James Baldwin. Then a number of personal fetishes: Julie Hecht, Jane and Paul Bowles, Nicholson Baker, Amy Hempel, R.V. Cassill.
The Removals, the first film from writer-director Nicholas Rombes, simultaneously occupies a number of bold artistic territories. It’s a speculative work about an underground organization revisiting and re-enacting moments from history to change society to their own end; it’s a paranoid thriller about members of that organization growing disenchanted with it; and it’s about the troubles can come when you attempt to revisit the past. (In this film there are echoes of everything from Charlie Kaufman’s film Synecdoche, New York […]