Netflix Will Release NYFF Documentaries on Joan Didion and Gay Talese

IndieWire | 8/23/2017 | Staff
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Netflix is adding two new documentaries to its crowded 2017 roster: “Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold.” and “Voyeur,” both of which will premiere at the 55th New York Film Festival and launch globally on Netflix later this year.

Author Joan Didion’s nephew, actor-director-producer Griffin Dunne, has been laboring on this portrait of his aunt for years. The film spans more than 50 years of essays, novels, screenplays, and criticism, as Didion chronicled America’s cultural and political tides, from the literati scene of New York in the 1950s and early ’60s to her home state of California, where she wrote “Slouching Toward Bethlehem” and “The White Album” and such film scripts as “The Panic in Needle Park.”

Author - Joan - Didion - Home - Hollywood

Author Joan Didion at home in Hollywood.

Dunne unearths a trove of archival footage and interviews his aunt at length about the many people she met and interviewed as well as her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne. She tells stories of partying with Janis Joplin, hanging out in a recording studio with Jim Morrison, and cooking dinner for one of Charles Manson’s women.

Dunne - Didion - Settings - Essays - Writing

Dunne shot Didion in settings “to evoke the essays she’s writing,” he told me. “And she’s reading from her work to make sort of a visual tapestry with archival footage from her life.”

Dunne also interviewed Harrison Ford and many other Didion friends who knew her from the literary and art worlds as well as “students no one’s ever heard of whose lives were transformed by her essays that helped them become the people they become,” he said. “She has had such a profound effect on so many people. It covers all her life – it’s one of those things, many people remember their first Joan Didion story. And part of our presentation is interviews talking about writers and actors and directors from the...
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