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crayolathief

Barton Fink wasn't bad. In fact Ask the Dust should have been directed by the Brothers Coen. They would have captured Arturo Bandini's sense of grandiose comic egoist perfectly - sort of a cross between Phillip Marlowe & Ignatius Reilly.

In a Lonely Place is a brilliant film - one of my favorites - with Bogart as a volatile Hollywood screenwriter.

Smoke was good, speaking of William Hurt. Of course the writer character was only part of an ensemble cast in that one. Contains a few great shots of the writer thoroughly absorbed in his craft, oblivious to his surroundings.

Henry & June was frustrating, but had its moments. (I'd prefer to see Henry & Joon, in which a gentle devotee of Buster Keaton comes to live with the Millers in decadent Paris.)

Cronenberg's version of Naked Lunch was... something.

Okay, that's about all I've got.

Kara

But.. but.. how do we feel about Gwyneth's DWP (drinking-while-pregnant)? http://www.gawker.com/news/gwyneth-paltrow/

burritoboy

A young George Dzundza like he was in The Deer Hunter. Yes, he looked like me too back then. I wish I could say somebody more exciting, but it's true. Damn, that's unflattering - his chubby man mannerisms are pretty close to my own. (Our shared Ukrainian heritage doesn't hurt either).

Linkmeister

I think Craig Lindsey should play you. I say that because he may in fact be you. The writing style and use of words is very similar.

Hey, if other people can think you're gay or incarcerated, I can think you're a newspaperist in NC.

bibliotrope

The Way We Were comes to mind. It was about a writer. And it had Robert Redford as said writer -- novelist turned scriptwriter. (Which is meant as equivalent to your remark about Gwyneth Paltrow.) OK, it also had Barbra Streisand, whom you can take or leave, preferably leave, but the theme song was good in that weepy sort of way that appeals to a lot of women (including me in weaker moments).

And as for movies about scriptwriters: Sunset Boulevard, though as it turned out writing was the least of William Holden's character's problems.

Who would play me in a movie? In a sense, Katharine Hepburn already did, in Desk Set, a reference librarian coping with the computerization of her library. Yes, this is pre-Internet, not to mention pre-blogging, but the issues of computerization in libraries as opposed to old-fashioned (i.e. print-based) reference skills are still fairly current even now, 50 years later.

Shakespeare's Sister

Shakespeare's Sister will probably say I should be played by John Corbett.

Indeed.

Who should play you in the movie?

Mr. Shakes and I haved played this game with friends before. Others cast Diane Keaton, Debra Winger, and Bonnie Hunt as me. Mr. Shakes casts Natalie Portman's character in Garden State as me, if that makes any sense.

I don't know who I'd cast as myself. Probably Groucho Marx.

Pops

For the record, I do NOT think you're gay. I mean, I hardly know you. Yes, I know I conjectured in that direction, but I have been known to say things I do not believe to be true from time to time. I have a lot of blog space to fill.

Keith Demko

Agree that movies about writing are hit or miss, but i thoroughly enjoyed Capote, mostly because it tightly focuses on the In Cold Blood phase and is equally about the man and the depths he had to sink to in order to get all of the story ... fascinating

Exiled in New Jersey

And you didn't mention 'Finding Neverland' once. Fie on you. We'll let Johnny Depp, playing CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow, be Lance. Before I thought of him, I was kind of thinking of Wallace Beery, or another of those dead white males.

LowLife

You named films of real authors so I might be beyond category by naming films about fictional authors, though, I'd be hard pressed to distinquish the two. I liked Providence with John Gielgud and Dirk Bogarde. There's a delicious difference between the character of Gielgud's family in contrived flashback and that of their day time visit.

Slaughterhouse Five was a good film (one of the few films that was probably better than it's book) again playing with flashback as a cinematic (literary) device and fixing it to its main character as the way he experiences life and who, in the initial scene of the movie, declares in typewritten prose that he is become unstuck in time.

There are films where the writer is the witness to the like Sophie's Choice. It's autobiographical in form but not really about the author. Then there's the one that are autobiographical indeed like Little Women, How Green Is My Valley and A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. All classics but not about writing or a writer but about becoming a writer.

sfmike

I hated "Shakespeare in Love" but I won't say anything bad about Gwyneth. You sound really tall and would probably win the duel.

I also hated "Capote" because every moment felt false somehow. The letter in the last issue of "New Yorker" from William Shawn's sons saying a) Dad never arranged for a public reading, b) Dad never publicized a writer or an article, c) Dad never flew an airplane, and so on, just confirmed the feeling for me. And as Gore Vidal recently pointed out, the real Truman Capote was awful enough in person that seeing him conjured up again on the screen was doubly awful.

The only great "writer" movie I can think of that's an exception to the rule is the 2000 "Before Night Falls" about the Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas.

blue girl

Great post, Mannion! Really fun.

I think I was the only one who bashed Scarlett -- and because I don't want you to pull a Zell Miller on me, I won't bash Gwyneth. I could though! (It has something to do with fruit) -- but I won't! Can I bash her mother? Just kidding. I wouldn't do that. I love her mother. She's a great actress and she's gorgeous.

I think Kevin Kline should play you.

Who should play me? When I was younger I had an uncle that told me I looked like Barbie Benton! (I stayed away from him at all family functions after that, believe me.) But my story will not be a made for TV movie, dammit! But, it wouldn't so high-brow or complex that it would have to be Meryl Streep either. Plus I don't have an accent.

I'll have to ponder this~

Jennifer

No one can play you Lance because you are merely a figment of all of our imaginations. We are having some large communal dream and in this dream Lance is guiding our daily thoughts and comments. Maybe you are God... maybe you are our subconscious... Maybe you are a computer run amok churning out post after post after post... maybe you should be played by Robby the Robot...or buy Hal 9000.

As for who would play me??? It would have to be some low-voiced actress who is not the ingenue, but the one making wisecracks over on the side and who is willing to get into trouble.

Mudge

Henry and June. And it even has Uma.

Jennifer

I forgot... Shaun Cassidy??? Bwahahha! Can you post a little video clip of yourself singing, "Da Doo Ron Ron"!?!?

Lance

crayolathief, you forgot the most important fact about Henry and June. It stars Uma. In A Lonely Place is a good one, although Bogart's character is more like a private eye than a writer. He does smoke and bang on his typewriter a lot though.

bilbiotrope, no one in this house is allowed to say a bad word about Robert Redford. Not while the blonde is within earshot, anyway.

Sis, I'm thinking Janeane Garafalo for you. Really. Short, dark. The voice! Plus, I'll bet she can pull off the chain smoking.

Pops, don't worry. I don't really care. Plus you fill up all that blog space with lots of funny stuff!

NJ, well, of course Depp as Captain Jack is the real me. I haven't seen Neverland. I should put it in the ol' Netflix queue.

LowLife, ditto for Providence. Gielgud and Bogarde? Got to be interesting.

SFMike, I'm sure Vidal is right about Capote. I only want to see it for Hoffman and Keener. And for what Keith Demko says.

Plus there's all that typing on typewriters.

BlueGirl, Blythe means even more to me than Gwyneth. Please tell us you were at least in high school when that uncle told you you looked like Barbi Benton.

Kevin Kline in The Big Chill? Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda? Or Kevin Kline in The Pink Panther?

Lance

Mudge, Bless you for remembering Uma.

Jennifer, you'll have to talk to Uncle Merlin about the Shaun Cassidy thing. I don't see it.

I thought you were a figment of my imagination. Here's a question. If two figments of imagination cease to believe in each other, do they continue to exist nonetheless? Or do both vanish in a puff of logic?

Matt

crayolathief stole my thunder with In a Lonely Place -- definitely one of the greats.

But I've got a pretty good back-up -- a damn good one, in fact: The Third Man. Best movie ever, imho.

Who should play you in the movie?

Others have told me Tobey Maguire. I have tried to deceive myself into thinking that they weren't just being polite. I've also tried to work on my abs.

I found out about both movies because a blogger named Pops linked to a newspaper article that quotes Lance Mannion.

Awesome! Congrats!

Here, by the way, is another story of MSM outlets using blog material without giving credit.

mac macgillicuddy

Two things, one more or less irrelevant:

Thing one - I had occasion recently to look up "figment" in Webster's dictionary, and it turns out that "figment of imagination" is redudant. A "figment" is by definition, imagined. Who knew?

Thing two - I saw Capote not long ago -- a couple of weeks ago maybe -- and it still haunts me. True, books and movies about writers writing can be simply indulgent, but Capote was, to me, so much more than a movie about a writer, or even murderers. I'm still not even sure what it was about, but I can't stop thinking about it.

mac macgillicuddy

"The blonde thinks I should be played by William Hurt."

I overlooked this the first time, so I have to add this P.S.-

I think you should play yourself. Make it a cameo appearance. Don't put your name in the opening credits, but at the end, when the cast list rolls by too quickly to read it, the credit can say "Lance Mannion...himself" I always thought it was kind of cool when they did that in movies.

blue girl

Darnit Keifer, I mean Mannion, I mean Hal -- I thought I did the trackback thing to you, but it's not showing up. Would you be so kind as to consider this comment a link to a post I just wrote regarding your post above?

I would create the link myself -- but I don't know how to do that either!

The actress that plays me would have to be seriously technologically challenged.

Your Fairygod Figment

I used to think I knew the title for my autobiography, but now it will have to be... "I Am Lance's Figment"... As far as your question goes... do figments cease to exist if they stop believing in each other- first of all, how could I ever stop believing in Lance?? Secondly, that sounds like a double-negative so I am guessing they will continue... besides logic is overrated. Ooh! I just had a thought that you made some pact where you need to keep posting or your life would cease to exist! But I digress...

I also believe it is stated in the Patriot Act that one is not allowed to cease believing in figments during wartime since it might weaken the stance of the President who may or may not be a figment of his own imagination and the reason for war may be a figment (forgive any redundancy).

Lance- I believe Pops thought you would be the Kevin Kline from In and Out...

blue girl

Oh my God -- the Barbie Benton comment was just from Christmas. I *was* younger then! That was three months ago! Duh!

Lance

BG, Your wish is my command.

Lance

Kara,

I'm sure Gwyneth has a good explanation.

Linkmeister

Hmm. I notice my conjecture about the Mannion identity went completely unanswered, unlike everyone else's comment.

I may be onto something here.

Jennifer

Linkmeister... good point, but I'm guessing if you had told him that you looked like Teri Hatch he would have responded in a second.

Jennifer

Speaking of starlets, etc, I've been having a hard time all week getting past the photo of Tori Spelling on your site. I realize it's an ad, but I open the site before I've had enough coffee or after I've had too much day and I see Tori and then the name of the post and I am constantly trying to put the two together and am trying to figure out why on earth Lance is blogging about Tori! I am used to Scarlett, I am used to Uma, I am used to any number of women, but I have to say that Tori is not the photo I expect to see on your site and of course by the time my brain fully accepts that it is an ad and has nothing to do with Lance, it will be replaced by something else that just gives me a new form of cognitive dissonance.

velvet goldmine

I think I've said this to you before, but -- having met you and all -- I'd cast Alan Alda as you. The only problem is that we'd have to get in a time machine to 1974 or thereabouts.

blue girl

"If it bends, it works. If it breaks, it doesn't work!"

"If it bends, it's funny, if it breaks it's not funny!"

Ah-ha! I can see it so clearly -- so many things are now making so much sense!

Just kidding Hawkeye. Don't get your scrubs all in a bunch.

Emma

State and Main was pretty good- it's Philip Seymour Hoffman again as a matter of fact, playing a screenwriter. And I know you said no journalist movies, but you should really see Shattered Glass- Hayden Christensen plays Stephen Glass, who was not a private eye or a secret agent, but really just a very smart little manipulator. Oh yeah, and The Hours was swell too.

Exiled in New Jersey

Secret Window with Depp is totally about a writer going over the edge, but not that good.

Third Man! Right on, most perfect film ever made, and of course, it was by Graham Greene, whose The End of the Affair gives us a view of a 500 words a day writer that is fascinating. But the films of it just don't make it.

joanr16

"You can bash Scarlett all you want, but if you start on Gwyneth I'm going to have to challenge you to a duel.

I will win.

I've killed twelve men.

Some of them were armed."

Lance, I hereby order you to 28 days in Terry Pratchett rehab.

(Oh, and I'm thrilled to see that someone else loves the "This isn't writing, it's typing" quote as much as my kid brother, who used to do a Capote voice almost as good the glorious P.S. Hoffman's.)

coturnix

Hey, that was in my newspaper! How did I miss it? (Easy, I get my news online and buy the paper only occasionally).

Shakespeare's Sister

Sis, I'm thinking Janeane Garafalo for you. Really. Short, dark. The voice! Plus, I'll bet she can pull off the chain smoking.

That's not a bad suggestion at all. In fact, Mr. Shakes had no idea who she was before he moved to the States, and so I showed him Reality Bites, prompting him to exclaim, "She's dead like you!" (Which is not to say we're both dead, but a Scottish way of noting we are quite similar.)

I have to admit, however, I remain suspicious that you just want Janeane to play me in the movie, so I will introduce you, and you can summarily beg her to call her Truth About Cats and Dogs co-star and arrange for a drooling session for you.

Shakespeare's Sister

Oh, also...Colin Firth would totally play Mr. Shakes. Or Phillip Seymour Hoffman, because he could play anyone.

Mr. Shakes

Those aren't bad, though I don't think I'm as much of a stuttering moron as the characters Colin Firth tends to play. (Mrs. Shakes assures me I am. Quiet, woman! Too harsh a mirror!)

I think that John C. Reilly may be able to channel my unique blend of inimitable qualities. Ahem. Or, if I'm in one of my more sociable moods, then perhaps Matthew Perry. He even appears to share the same bizarre polygonal phenotype.

Shakespeare's Sister

bizarre polygonal phenotype

LOL! You're a doofus.

John C. Reilly's a good suggestion, especially after his turn in Magnolia. Anyone who can so adeptly portray the desperation of a cop whose lost his gun could surely wrap their chops around the role of a man who lost an engagement ring. And a train ticket. And three bank cards. And his keys. And the phone. And the telly remote. And his brain.

Mr. Shakes

Yes, yes - very amusing. But you married me. Who's laughing now?

Mwah ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Shakespeare's Sister

Touché.

Jennifer

Shakes and Mr. Shakes... Getta room! Oh wait... you're married...

Hawkeye

Burns and Allen, Nichols and May, now Shakes and Mrs Shakes! Stars of stage, screen, and radioactivity! Aren't they great, folks? They'll be appearing here all week. Three shows nightly and four on Saturday. Two drink minimum, remember, and no pinching the cigarette girls. That's my job. Didn't a guy named Lance used to own this blog? That's what he gets for leaving the room. Shakes and Mrs Shakes, folks! A big hand for the little lady and her scarf-wearing friend with the thistle between his teeth!

Shakespeare's Sister

Don't forget to tip your waiters!

SV

You know, The Shining is about a writer.

Oz

A film about a writer that could work: Ed Harris as Ken Kesey. Even 2-shots with Ginsberg could play.

I once met Stephen Wright, in the Louvre of all places. He could play me. Or Malkovich.

Linkmeister

Isn't "Misery" also about a writer?

Claire

I missed all the fun over here on Friday (and Saturday)! This is what I get for skipping a day! Lance-- I love that you were quoted in a newspaper, and that the person writing the article didn't tell you about it. Ha!

As for who would play me in my biopic... I have a friend who always thinks of me when he sees Joan Cusack, (though I hope *not* in Sixteen Candles with a back brace).

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