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Screenings: Joan Didion – The Center Will Not Hold (2017)

October 27th, 2017 · No Comments

[streaming, Netflix]

What a fascinating and ultimately tragic life Joan Didion has led! This doc connects her published works to the life events that inspired her to write them, for, as Didion state’s in the film’s generous interview segments, “You write what you have.” I have read her two late books about grieving, and they were devastating (not cold and removed, as some are quoted as describing her work in this film), and am inspired to seek out “Slouching Toward Bethlehem” after seeing this. One puzzling question I have after seeing this, though: Didion’s speaking mannerisms include wild gesturing with her hands…is that merely an affectation, or is it physiologically-based or perhaps related to her failing eyesight? Also, the scene in which she is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom was very moving.


Tags: film · Screenings

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