Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Authors Lives Don't Make Great Cinema

The lives of popular writers such as Dan Brown and JK Rowling would make better movies. They are rich, powerful celebrities; they dine with presidents and travel the world. But, for some reason, nobody seems to take them seriously as cinema subjects. Perhaps if they developed crack habits and slept with lots of groupies things might change.
Writer's lives don't always make great cinema, says Evan Maloney on The Guardian blog, unless they :
...cater to the fantasy that writers are drunk, mad, sex-obsessed geniuses inspired by the holy spirit (50% proof). Think Henry Miller (Henry and June), William Burrows (Naked Lunch), Hunter S Thompson (Where the Buffalo Roam, Fear and Loathing) the Marquis de Sade (Quills) and Charles Bukowski (Bar Fly, Factotum).
But the truth is, of course, that most writers lead outwardly boring lives  ... sitting at their desks and yes, putting down one word after another.  Tortured geniuses there may be, here and there, but they aren't usually the guys coming up with the goods.

Maloney's post is inspired by the forthcoming biopic of Leon Tolstoy (played by Christopher Plummer - pictured above), The Last Station.


Lee Ee Leen said...

the only reason to watch The LAst Station is James McAvoy.

I thought Fear and Loathing In LAs Vegas to be a very spot-on cinematic depiction of Hunter S Thompson's headspace, Johnny Depp as always, is great.

YTSL said...

One writer who had an interesting life that made a fun movie ("Impromptu") was Georges Sand. For those who haven't yet, 2010 might be a good year to watch it -- what with it being Chopin's 200th birth anniversary. (Chopin and Sand were lovers, BTW.) :)

Crankster said...

I always wonder:

Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?

I think I would like to see movies that depict real-life for once, instead of the bizarre, over-the-top fare I seem to be served with these days.