Literary Documentary

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Burroughs: The Movie
Made up of intimate, revelatory footage of the singular author and poet filmed over the course of five years, Howard Brookner's 1983 documentary about William S. Burroughs was for decades mainly the stuff of legend; that changed when Aaron Brookner,…
Write Down, I am an Arab
"Write Down, I am an Arab" tells the story of Mahmoud Darwish, the Palestinian national poet and one of the most influential writers of the Arab world. His writing shaped Palestinian identity and helped galvanize generations of Palestinians to their…
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train
We mourn the loss of author, activist, historian and beloved folk hero Howard Zinn, who has been an integral part of the First Run legacy for many years. Howard lent his support to many First Run films (many of which…
Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life
This Academy Award nominated documentary is the first authorized film look at the life and work of the controversial Russian-born author Ayn Rand. The writer of such renowned novels as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged is the subject of Michael…
Ralph Ellison: An American Journey
Part of the Series: Diversity Training & Multiculturalism
Ralph Ellison: An American Journey is the first documentary on one of the most gifted and intellectually provocative authors of modern American literature. It establishes Ellison as a central figure in contemporary debates over art, politics, race and nationhood. Narrated…
Dangerous Edge - A Life of Graham Greene
PBS
British actor Sir Derek Jacobi narrates this portrait of author Graham Greene: a British spy, doubting Catholic, and manic-depressive who wrote critically acclaimed best-sellers including The Quiet American, Brighton Rock, The End of the Affair and The Third Man. Weaving…
The Paper Mirror
In the winter of 2010, Alison Bechdel is entrenched in the process of writing "Are You My Mother", a hauntingly personal graphic memoir about her mother, and a follow up of sorts to 2006's award-winning "Fun Home." Known best for…
The Paris Review… Early Chapters
In the summer of 1953, an expatriated trio of young Americans -- Peter Matthiessen, Harold "Doc" Humes and George Plimpton -- founded the international literary quarterly, The Paris Review. Designed to welcome "the good writers and good poets, the non-drumbeaters…
Ferlinghetti
This incisive and entertaining portrait of American poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti explores his vital role as catalyst for numerous literary careers and for the Beat movement itself. Interviews with Ferlinghetti and others reveal a rich melange of characters and events that…
Dear Mr. Watterson - The Era of Calvin & Hobbes
Calvin & Hobbes dominated the Sunday comics in thousands of newspapers for over 10 years, having a profound effect on millions of readers across the globe. When the strip's creator, Bill Watterson, retired the strip on New Year's Eve in…
Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All
Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All is an in-depth documentary of one of America's greatest and least understood authors. This compelling life story reveals a unique literary voice through rare interviews, historic footage and the gritty…
The Mystery of Agatha Christie with David Suchet
PBS
David Suchet, TV's Poirot, has spent more of his life acting out the plots and dramas created by Agatha Christie than anyone else in the world. Suchet is embarking on a journey to learn more about the woman who created…
Cooper and Hemingway: The True Gen - The Friendship of a Writer and an Actor
Ernest Hemingway: Writer, war correspondent, international adventurer, lover, drinker, brawler. The tabloid reputation -- filled with truths, half-truths and flat-out untruths -- grows ever wider. If you made up a character like Ernest Hemingway, how many would believe it? The…
Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story
One man's wild, lifelong adventure of testing society's boundaries through his subversive art, Far Out Isn't Far Enough _: The Tomi Ungerer Story_ combines traditional documentary storytelling with original animation culled from seven decades worth of art from the renegade…
An Imaginary Life
In 1996 Australia author David Malouf's "Remembering Babylon" was considered by the IMPAC literary judges to be the best novel written by anyone, anywhere, in any language, in the last three years. An Imaginary Life is an exploration of his…
James Salter: A Sport and a Past Time
This 54-minute documentary traces the writer James Salter's lifelong love affair with France, unforgettably expressed in his 1967 masterpiece, A Sport and a Pastime. The novel, a transcendent examination of sexual desire, follows an ill-fated love affair between a Yale…
Flicker
This award-winning documentary about poet, calligrapher and mystic Brion Gysin portrays the life and legacy of an artist who believed art could revolutionize human consciousness. This film chronicles Gysin's complex ideas and influence with some key counterculture figures, such as…
Odd People Out
Odd People Out is a documentary about the process of marginalization, repression and denial of the gay community during the first two decades of the Cuban Revolution, through the eyes and voice of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. A counterpoint to…
The Real Middle Earth
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is the most popular work of fiction ever created. It is a tale of epic proportions held together by its unforgettable setting, Middle Earth. The great trilogy introduced the world to Gandalf, Frodo…
John McGahern: a Private World
On March 30th 2006, after a life-time of dedication to his art, John McGahern, one of Ireland's most distinguished writers, sadly passed away after a long illness. Since the publication of his first book in 1963, John McGahern was at…