And as if you needed any excuse just to stay inside, snuggle down and watch a movie, here are five films that have some relevance to writing. All other suggestions welcome.
1. Capote. A portrait of Truman Capote and the writing of his non-fiction classic, In Cold Blood. Harper Lee makes an appearance as her novel, To Kill A Mockingbird is published too. Brilliant on insecurity, manipulation and the elusive search for ‘truth’.
2. Naked Lunch. Because, with the best will in the world, there are times when this is how it can feel. Typewriters turn into bugs and extraterrestrial agents dispense strange drugs. An adaptation of William S. Burroughs' most famous novel.
3. The Singing Detective. The Dennis Potter television series is a million times better than the 2003 film, but enjoy this portrayal of a hospitalized pulp author with a nasty skin disease who wrestles with his demons, past, present, real, and imagined. Wonderful on the processes of memory and creation.
4. Adaptation. Based on the real-life Susan Orlean’s non-fiction book on orchid hunters, the real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has written a fictional film about how he would adapt Orlean’s book for the cinema. Clever on the thin lines between reality and fantasy.
5. Wonder Boys. Based on Michael Chabon’s novel of the same title, this is a film to make you feel better about your own writing as the unfortunate and somewhat depressing Professor Grady Tripp faces a myriad of problems, not least that he has yet to finish his next book which is already over 2,000 pages long.
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