The Funkhaus Film Series: Writer Edition

October 26, 2018
- Extracurriculars
Author - Katherine Fox

Welcome back to the Funkhaus Film Series, brought to you by the passionate cinephiles and casual moviegoers at Funkhaus.

We kicked off the Funkhaus Film Series by taking a deep dive into the wide world of web, assembling a roundup of our favorite tech-centric flicks. Now we say goodbye to the futuristic enigmas and programming savants to make the switch from Python to prose.

Dropping the word writer into the gauntlet of film discussion proved to be a broad exercise in choosing between genre, plot, and character occupation. There are movies about writers and then there are movies with writers. It’s a distinction that we chose to ignore, which is how we arrived at our first film pick.

The Shining: You say psychological horror, we say a film about a writer! The entire genesis for the film is Jack’s crippling case of writer’s block, and no amount of axe bearing and redrum yelling can change that. A remote hotel that immediately gives off a spooky vibe wouldn’t be our first choice for a writer’s retreat, but we’re also not Stanley Kubrick.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas : A lot happens in this movie—some events real, others imagined, and all incredibly entertaining. Based on Hunter S. Thompson’s iconic novel, the movie version is a colorful depiction of a complete trip that was really just meant to be a simple work trip. Zoom out and it’s all a little meta: We’ve got a writer writing about a man who is sent to Vegas to write. And there are a lot of psychedelics involved.

Stand by Me : Like the come-of-age film that it is, Stand by Me tells the story of four childhood friends who embark on an unforgettable adventure, growing up and learning a whole lot along the way. Adult Gordie, now an author, frames the story that unfolds alongside the train tracks, making it a movie that perfectly fits on this list.

Adaptation : What’s the life of a writer if not one marked by self-doubt and storytelling woes? Charlie Kaufman’s journey depicts a screenwriter who can’t fully put the pieces together to make the arc work. Add a bit of drama and self-fulfillment into the mix and you’ve got Adaptation.

Midnight in Paris: Gil is a Hollywood screenwriter at odds with the superficial qualities of the present and deeply longing for an era of literary greatness. One night while introspectively strolling streets of the city, Gil is given the gift of going back in time.

We suspend disbelief because it’s Paris—and of course this sort of time travel can happen in Paris—and get the chance to see Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, Cole Porter, the Fitzgeralds, and more. It’s a name-dropping extravaganza that connects writers of the past with the present. And Gil gets Gertrude to give notes on his work. That’s cool.

You’ve Got Mail: Love stories are fun. Love stories that play out entirely due to the act of writing? Even better. If you have yet to see this film here’s a basic plot structure: They write, they read, they repeat, and then they fall in love. You’ve Got Mail is proof that email exchanges are just love letters with a subject line.

Almost Famous : William is just your average high schooler turned Rolling Stone journalist that ventures across the country to fulfill any and every music fan’s dream. Interviews with Stillwater may go awry as Penny guides Will the writer through the tour, but that’s just the average life of a 15 year-old journalist, right?

This speaks for itself.

Shakespeare in Love: We’re ending this collection of films with a bang and the Bard. Shakespeare wasn’t just a writer. He is and was the writer. His definition of comedy doesn’t exactly hold up today, but the film gives us a version of the poet that goes beyond the sonnets and the star-crossed storylines.

And with that, this list bids you adieu. Questions, comments, concerns, movies we totally missed? Shoot us an email fellow film fans.