Actor portrayls of noted authors & or philosophers
October 11, 2012 11:24 PM   Subscribe

After viewing the excellent "A Man for All Seasons" IMDb and the BBC's Kierkegaard - Sea of Faith YouTube I'm in want of viewing other portraryls of noted authors & philosphers. What are your recommendations?

As I'm beginning Paradise Lost I'd like to find a kind of "A Man for All Seasons" for John Milton but am coming up empty handed, though the biographies or short scenes of true-to-history or even an off-beat representation of other notable figures would prove equally interesting.
posted by MeatyBean to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Total Eclipse is an odd film about Rimbaud and his relationship with Paul Verlaine.

Gothic is about the night Mary Shelley came up with "Frankenstein", and it's a very challenging film to watch.

Henry & June is, of course, about Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller, and Henry's wife, June.

...I know I've seen others - BBC productions are tickling my memory in particular - but I can't recall titles or actors. I hope someone else comes in with recs along those lines.

This is even more tangential than those above: The Cat's Meow. It features Eddie Izzard as Charlie Chaplin, and is based on a real early-Hollywood murder on a yacht.
posted by batmonkey at 12:09 AM on October 12, 2012

Logicomix is a very enjoyable read, with perhaps a couple of dramatic licences taken about Bertrand Russell and his contemporaries
posted by Sparx at 1:02 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Or, sticking to film, Wittgenstein, by Derek Jarman is very watchable, theatrical (as in there's no backdrops) and mildly educational.
posted by Sparx at 1:12 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Miss Potter, with Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter, is a sweet if slightly over-romanticized portrayal of the author.
posted by Specklet at 2:29 AM on October 12, 2012

Was coming on here to recommend the Jarman film. Don't know if you're willing to take painters or musicians, as well, but Jarman also has a Mahler film and a Caravaggio film. The Straubs did The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, which is great if you have the patience. There's that documentary film about Heidegger, The Ister, which I have yet to see. Tarkovski's Andrei Rublev (another painter). Bertoldt Brecht's Galileo(!). Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. Virginia Woolf is a character in that silly film, The Hours. Oh man, the possibilities seem endless now that I'm thinking about this genre. I'll stop here.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 4:22 AM on October 12, 2012

I would recommend Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace. Bonhoeffer was one of the leading theologians and ethicists of the last century, close ties to pacifism, yet was put to death in a Nazi concentration camp just days before liberation by American forces over his links to a Hitler assassination plot.

If you watch and enjoy it, do take a look at his Letters and Papers from Prison.
posted by jonrob at 11:40 AM on October 12, 2012

La nuit de Varennes (sometimes marketed in the U.S. as "That Night at Varennes") is a hard-to-find but memorable French film [YT] featuring Harvey Keitel as Thomas Paine, Jean-Louis Barrault as Rétif de la Bretonne, and Marcello Mastroianni as Casanova. Everyone seems to take something a little different from this movie, but my favorite part is Mastroianni's portrayal of the aging Casanova.

Shakespeare in Love, Molière, and [just mentioning the title of this film would be a spoiler, but I don't know how else to tell you to look it up] offer fanciful versions of the historical author portrayal.
posted by Orinda at 4:35 PM on October 12, 2012

The Hours (Virginia Woolf).
Tom and Viv (T. S. Eliot's marriage made in hell.)
Surprised no one has mentioned Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter S Thompson).
Regeneration (the US title is Behind the Lines) is about Great War poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen and their treatment for shellshock at Craiglockhart War Hospital by W. H. Rivers, the psychiatrist who pioneered treatment for soldiers suffering from combat trauma.
posted by tully_monster at 11:57 PM on October 12, 2012

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