Monday, October 18, 2010

Movies about Writing

So I am also at
Burrowers, Books & Balderdash today...

So when I ran across Jennee's Blog Hop at Cheap Therapy, a couple movies easily came to mind. Most easily were Throw Mama From the Train and Romancing the Stone came to mind—both movies I saw a long time ago, before my writer's identity had solidified... but I felt like... if the movies I can THINK OF are movies I really love, then this is a sunset of movies that speaks to me. It isn't a giant group.... though I ran across several I'd LIKE to see...

Deathtrap: I love Michael Cain—and as a self-indulgent gay writer taking advantage of 'student' Christopher Reeve, there is a little beauty in this one... The teacher (with little recent success) plans to steal from the clever student, but this plotted murder ends up with aspects of thriller and comedy...

Sideways: I really enjoyed this 'bachelor party' trip to wine country—the 'groom' and his friend the writer. Their adventures are amusing (though the groom is a jerk).

Naked Lunch: William S. Burrows was apparently one TWISTED MoFo... if you know what I mean. This movie was all SORTS of strange, but oddly appealed to me anyway. I still get flashes of the horny attacking type-writer... just... weird. But weird like a train wreck—I couldn't look away.

The Shining: Oh, I hope my writing never finds me writing hundreds of pages of 'all work and no play makes the Tart a dull girl'... no matter HOW true the statement. This is a tough movie for me because I liked the book SO MUCH better, but it is still a darned good movie.

The Big Chill: I had forgotten this, but ran across it in my quest for writing movies. Jeff Goldblum plays a Tabloid Journalist in this exquisite movie about college friends brought back together for the funeral of a friend.

Body Heat: This twisted tale of betrayal and hot sex is pretty darned good. It's pretty messed up, but I like it that way.

Romancing the Stone: This came out when I was in... what, Jr. High? And is an early one where I realized how delighted I was by a writer's story. The MC has writer's block and gets a package from her sister leading on a treasure hunt... and then writes the romance... it's fabulous stuff, in that very over-the-top adventure way.

Throw Mama From the Train: I ADORE this one—this is on my favorite list of MOVIES let alone movies about writers. The night was hot and wet. The night was moist... *snort* OH the search for the perfect word...

Leaving Las Vegas: I am a major Nicholas Cage fan ANYWAY, but this compelling, dark story about a writer who decides to drink himself to death is one of those that just leaves you stunned. How can life go SO WRONG? Though the alcoholism, the family that has left, and the writing career rejecting his latest stuff gives some 'too close to home' hints.

Shakespeare in Love: I am not normally a 'romance' lover, but this historical setting, ironic set-up (the background of performing Romeo and Juliet when so much of the play APPLIED) and cross dressing won me over. It was just VERY well done.

And there are a couple writing movies I need to see now that I've LOOKED at writing movies... I definitely want to see Henry and June, In a Lonely Place (Classic with Humphrey Boggart), Iris (about Iris Murdoch), My Favorite Year and Adaptation with Nicholas Cage...

Added on recommendation:  The Hours, Finding Forrester, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Stranger than Fiction, Adaptation,

So there you have it... my writing movies...

And just as a heads up...

Tomorrow Robin Cain gets NAKED! (she has given in to the tart effect) and Alex Cavanaugh releases his BOOK!!! Wahoo!!! So tomorrow is a can't miss day around here!


Ted Cross said...

Throw Momma From the Train is one of my favorites also.

You need to check out Finding Forrester. It is a great, little-known writing movie.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Guess how many of these I have seen - NONE!
I do need to find a big rock and crawl under it (with a DVD player)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

"The Shining" was a great movie--scared me to death when I saw what he'd been typing.

"Misery" is another scary one for writers!

"The Hours" is good, but dark.

Old Kitty said...

I love these selections!!! I love these films - yay!!! Awww Throw Momma - my fave scene is when Danny de Vito shows off his coin collection - each coin represents a precious memory of happy times with his dad! Awwwwww!!!

I'd add To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar for me! Take care

Not Hannah said...

Two of my favorites: Wonder Boys has the best cast ever. I'm not a tremendous Michael Douglas fan, but he's excellent here, as is Robert Downey, Rip Torn, and Tobey Macquire.

Funny Farm with Chevy Chase. I laugh my butt off with this one EVERY TIME.

Al said...

I've seen most of these and I have to say In think Shakespeare in love was my favourite.

Jan Morrison said...

oh lots of lovelies here. I love movies about writers...but cannot think of one to add - to early in the day! I liked Shakespeare in Love and The Shining and oh - here are two The Hours (somewhat about Virginia Wolfe) and Sylvia about Plath. They were both wonderful, I thought. There. I can think. later...

Carol Kilgore said...

I loved Romancing the Stone. And many more of these, but that was my favorite.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know there ever was a time when your writer's identity hadn't solidified!! but then there must have been because you might not have ever used an actual typewriter (your inserted hyphen gave you away!) ahem, sorry, my age is slipping...
what a great list; seen most of the oldies, shall have to check out the newies -- and technically anything S.King wrote that has been adapted for the big screen counts - Elizabeth said 'Misery' - great one; maybe not Carrie, maybe not IT - oh well, my brain isn't in gear either. Great job. And on two blogs simultaneously. There's no stopping you, Tart.

Teresa aka JW said...

I like Something's got to Give and The Holiday. Lots of writing going on in those.

Hart Johnson said...

YAY! Lots of great selections here! I know I'm low on the numbers of movies I've seen, so it is great to get some recommendations!

HA! Totally forgot Something's Got to Give though--I like that one!

Mason Canyon said...

Love your movie selection. As for The Shining, I love the one with Jack Nicholson. Another great writing movie is an old classic with Cary Grant - His Girl Friday.

Thoughts in Progress

Lisa said...

I have to admit Throw Mama from the Train is the movie about writing that most sticks with me.

And although it's really a minor part, I love the scenes with Colin Firth as the writer in Love Actually.

KLM said...

See, I cannot watch any movie about writers writing. (Oh, you forgot Barton Fink, although maybe he's a screenwriter so perhaps that doesn't count.) I find them too depressing and annoying. This is probably why lawyers can't watch shows about lawyers and cops can't watch shows about cops. You spend all your time going, "THAT would never happen" instead of just enjoying the movie.

I'll stick with Iron Man for the time being. :)


Jennee said...

Great list! I haven't seen most of them which is good because I love checking out new movies! And I can't believe that I didn't think of To Wong Foo! It's surprising how many movies are about writers after all! Thanks for joining in!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sideways was an excellent film and Naked Lunch just twisted! (Not surprised it's on your list, Hart!)

LTM said...

omg this list. Hubs loves Sideways, but he's a fan of what's his face... beardie... ?

I watch all these movies SO differently now. Don't forget Little Miss Sunshine! As for Henry & June... not so great. But much nekkidness. :D

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

Ooh, don't forget Stranger Than Fiction, which i LOVED.

Adaptation freaks me out. I can't tell what's real and what's fiction and i hate that

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Romancing the Stone! And the sequel, Jewel of the Nile.
Actually, Absence of Malice came to mind first.

Hart Johnson said...

Mason-DEFINITELY the Jack Nicholson version!

Lisa-my favorite part of TMftT is "Look, Cows!" (haven't seen Love Actually... probably should)

Kristen: Ha! That's funny that you can't watch. I haven't seen Barton Fink, and... Iron Man? I love those but somehow writing totally escaped me... Superman too, was a reporter!

Jennee-Hey, thanks for hosting this! It's been fun!

Alex-are you calling me twisted? *snort*

Leigh-Little Miss Sunshine?! Totally missed the writer there, too. LOVED that movie.

Sarah--Haven't seen either, but I will add those to my list!

L.Diane-I need to see Absence of Malice, too!

Karen Peterson said...

You have a great list. Throw Mama From the Train almost made mine.

Cold As Heaven said...

And there is this great Italian movie about Pablo Neruda, The Postman by Michael Radford >:)

Cold As Heaven

Arlee Bird said...

I am a big fan of weird movies, but Naked Lunch seemed just too weird. Maybe I need to see it again--sometimes I'm just in a funky mood and a movie doesn't seem that good. Also, the two movies about Hunter S Thompson, Where the Buffalo Roam and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas just didn't appeal to me at all --Thompson came across more of an irresponsible jerk than a wacky gonzo journalist.

I did find Freedom Writers to be pretty inspiring. And I thought Adaptation was absolutely brilliant.

Tossing It Out

Holly Ruggiero said...

I didn’t realize how many movies out there were about writers – and I’ve seen most of those you wrote about!

Alexandra Crocodile said...

I actually hated Shakespeare in Love. It was so boring! But The Shining and Sideways is great. And Deathtrap sounds really exciting!

Kraxpelax said...

The Moon
on a cat


As a native Swede, I am particularly proud of my love poetry suite Sonnets for Katie.

My Poems

My wallpaper art Babes!

Sexuality introduces Death to Being; and indeed Life simultaneously. This is the profound Myth of the Eden. The work of the Serpent. Bringing us out of "blessed" Standstill. So, in contrast to the mindless pietism of vulgar Christianity, my personal "Christo-Satanism" should be given serious thought by the Enlightened Few, the Pneumatics, the 1% Outlaws. The Light Bringer must be rehabilitated, beacause if not, the All of it simply doesn't make sense: true Catholicism is necessarily Meta Catholicism.
You can NOT enter black hole. It's impossible. This follows immediately from general relativity theory. Proof: for an object moving let' say (along a straight line) towards a black hole, for any arbitrarily chosen distance it has laid behind itself, the reaining distance is ifinite. CHALLENGE! To all physicists,cosmologists and mathematicians of theworld: disprove THIS if you can. I think not. (Even Stephen Hawking failed tho see the obvious!)you can. I think not. (Even Stephen Hawking failed to see the obvious!)

My philosophy


Un orage nocturne illmuna maintenant l'Amazonie, franchis les Andes, envoya des jeux de cartes gigantesques et frappantes en bas à la Pampa –

Puis: petit déjeuner à melon; café fumant!

À la bague du cigare tu lis, étonné: GÉOGRAPHIE.

My poetry in French:


Schwarzes Birne!
Aufforderung zur Erotik.

My poetry in German:

Fremde Gedichte

And, finally, I practise I Ching divination:


And: reciprocity: for mutual benefit, you will do me a favor promoting your own blog on mine!

The best way to do it is lining up as a Follower, since then your icon will advertise you indefinitely, and I will follow you in return. Let's forge a mighty alliance of synergy and common interest.


- Peter Ingestad, Sweden

adam.purple said...

May I nominate The Player? Lots of writers, one of whom wound up dead.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I thought The Shining was really scary. Elizabeth already mentioned the first one that jumped into my head which was Misery.

Deb and Barbara said...

Wow -- I had never consciously considered how many excellent movies there are out there about writing. Great list, thanks!

Helen Ginger said...

Amazingly, I've seen a lot of the ones on your list. I also liked Forrest Gump - at the time it came out, it was so different from anything else.

Ted Cross said...

No love for Finding Forrester? I wonder if it is because people didn't like it for some reason, or they haven't seen it? Even my kids really liked it.

Marieke said...

Oh, I loved Shakespeare in Love! So beautifully done! :D

Also, hi fellow Crusader! Very nice to meet you! :)


Ted - LOVE Finding Forrester. I think it's an amazing movie.

Steel Magnolia said...

BARTON FINK: John Turtruro and John Goodman in this (small, indy) bete noir film directed and written by the early Coen Brothers in 1991. Twisted take on writer's block. Very very much worth screening. Hart, check it out! Cheers!