Flicks for Thought
I love movies be it the lifelong ritual of watching 1951 black and white classic Scrooge every Christmas Eve, discovering quirky indee film gems such as Junebug, Fargo, and Little Miss Sunshine, or the infinite guffawing at cinematic comedy gold like Airplane! Anchorman or Monty Python's Life of Brian.
As a video rental store filmeesta constantly recommending movies to our flick lovin' fellowship, I've witnessed many a renting trend through the years.
Some people choose movies by director, some through film critics and ratings websites like International Movie Date base (IMDB) and Rotten Tomatoes while others still rely on ye olde word of mouth and store staff picks.
When a celebrity passes away, (like screen faves James Gandolfini or Phillip Seymour Hoffman) many pay tribute to a late actor's body of work by re-watching and experiencing the brilliance of their craft.
But what about movies that share a common theme, or a similar synopses, movies that I like to call, Cell-U-Links. Through my personal viewing habits, I have discovered that there are many films to explore and experience in this fun and unusual way.
Writer's Block – Films in which writers commit publishing fraud.
The Hoax, and Shattered Glass, are bio dramas based on true events, while fictional accounts The Words, (and to a lesser extent) You Will Meet a Tall Stranger also deal with writer's trying to pass off another writer's work as their own.
The Hoax - (2006) is based on the true story of American investigative reporter Clifford Irving (Richard Gere) who in 1972, actually sold a fake autobiography based on eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes to New York publishing house McGraw Hill in addition to Time Magazine. But upon publication, both organizations have increasing questions regarding the book's authenticity. Also stars Alfred Molina, and Marcia Gay Harden. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen).
Shattered Glass – (2003) is based on young journalist Steven Glass played by Hayden Christensen. During a three year stint, (1995-1998) as staff writer for The New Republic, Glass faked a good portion of his magazine articles for this provocative Washington publication, until new editor Chuck Lane (Peter Sarsgaard) begins to question Glass's sources. Also stars Hank Azaria, Chloe Sevigny. Directed by Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Captain Phillips).
The Words - (2012) stars Bradley Cooper, as Rory Jansen, a struggling young writer who becomes an overnight sensation when he publishes his first American novel, based on someone else's work. As Jansen basks in best-seller's glow, he knows it's only a matter of time before fate intervenes.
Also stars Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, and Zoe Saldana. Directed by Brian Klugman (Tron Legacy)
You Will Meet a Tall Stranger - (2010) where one sub plot features washed up novelist Roy (Josh Brolin) nervously awaiting response to his latest book. Roy cannot believe his luck when through circumstance, his best friend / best-selling author just happens to have an unpublished manuscript lying about. Also stars Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins. Directed by Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine).
Next Cell-U-Link. “Welcome to the Machine.”