The Self Referential List, Part Eight

Films about screenwriters

In Search of a Midnight Kiss

Guy: aspiring screenwriter, a loser slacker. 

Girl: a loser smoker who wants to be an actor but doesn’t go on auditions. 

Film:  a loser film altogether.  But not horrible.  Just lame.


Barton Fink

Flames.  Up in flames.  Down in flames.  Flames as metaphor.  You know, the burning inside that forces you to make films.  Or chase young women.  Or eat peanut butter at 3:00 AM.


How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog

I am cheating here, because it’s about a playwright. But wtf.

I didn’t recognize Robin Wright Penn. I have this problem remembering faces. It can cause quite a bit of resentment.  People like to be remembered.  I can’t help it; it’s a neurological problem.  Once I met a guy in a meeting.  It was a long meeting, maybe 4 hours.

The next day he got into the elevator and said, “Hi.”  I had not a clue who he was.  I stuck my hand out and introduced myself.  Yikes.  Scary.  He reported me to the hierarchy.


This was sort of a British film. Because, as I have repeatedly reminded you, Kenneth Branagh is a Brit. When I say “British film” I mean it was not that funny, but a certain type of clueless viewer rolls on the floor in laughysterical spasms.

It was made in Hollywood, but it was still sort of a British film.


In A Lonely Place

Humphrey Bogart is a screenwriter.  Because he has an artistic temperament, he is allowed to punch people and be abusive.

Best line in the movie:

“From a police report, ‘While working as screenwriter, had fistfight with producer.  Fractured producer’s jaw.  No charges filed.’ ”

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