If you’re a budding writer yearning to begin your first novel, a veteran in need of inspiration, or maybe a student requiring that spark of energy to be begin that 10,000-word dissertation, these films will help you get into the mood.
The spark of inspiration is vital for every writer. Whether you’re a journalist, novelist, part-timer or student, the urge to put “pen to paper” is sometimes lacking and you need that spark of encouragement.
That can come from anywhere. Perhaps a walk in the woods, a coffee at the local cafe, or simply a day off might get you in the mood.
Reading someone’s else’s writing, listening to music, or perhaps watching a movie, can also be good ways to light the fuse and get you writing. Here we check out movies specifically about writers that have in the past inspired me when the spark was otherwise lacking.
Almost Famous is one of those inspirational movies by virtue of its uplifting sensibilities and great soundtrack. Patrick Fugit is great as Miller, an aspiring rock n roll journalist, who goes on the road with an up and coming band, meeting an assortment of colourful characters and enjoying a number of life-changing experiences.
Getting a real sense of celebrity and the culture surrounding popular musicians gives Miller a prime, first hand look of life behind the stage. There wouldn’t be a music journalism essay he couldn’t ace on Papercheap.co.uk for those wanting that extra bit of academic help, but what this young man really achieves in Cameron Crowe’s brilliant film is a unique period in his teenage development that positively shapes him as a human being. His passion for putting these experiences on the page for Rolling Stone magazine is infectious.
Finding Forrester, the story of a popular and highly talented teenager who crosses paths with an introverted writer, explores the unique relationship between the underprivileged Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown) who clashes against the cynical remoteness of William Forrester (Sean Connery) in this unconventional yet uplifting film. A well-received film by both critics and audiences as rottentomatoes.com highlights, Finding Forrester grabs the audience at the most human level, steered forward by fantastic performances from Connery and Brown that offer a tale of genius suppressed by societal class. Desmond Ryan, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, noted the film is “a rewarding exploration of the knotty and often contentious relationship between teacher and protege. Its chief pleasure is the master class in the art of acting delivered by Sean Connery.”
Midnight In Paris
Owen Wilson plays Gil Pender in Woody Allen’s love letter to Paris. He’s an easily distracted American writer vacationing in the French city with his fiancée’s parents. Partner Inez (Rachel McAdams) throws scorn on Gil’s romanticised view of the city as he tries to use the holiday as inspiration for a novel he is struggling to finish.
After taking an evening stroll he is picked up by an antique car and finds himself transported back to the 1920s. He encounters his idols such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway who encourage him to take his unfinished novel to the renowned American writer Gertrude Stein.
Noted for being the best Allen film in years with WhatCulture.com detailing six reasons why it’s so successful, Tom Long of the Detroit News called it a “loving embrace of the city, of art and of life itself.”
Wilson’s time-travelling excursions to meet world renowned writers are enough to kickstart even those with writer’s block, particularly as a result of recognising a passion for the written word and wallowing in these characters’ exuberance for it. As Gary Thompson of the Philadelphia Enquirer states, “Allen goes deeper, expanding on his time-travel device to make unexpected and unexpectedly generous observations.”
Need inspiration for your writing? These films will help. Of course, everyone has ways to spark their creative juices but if you’re a writer in need of a boost, these films about the writing life contain a few sparks to light that flame in you.