Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

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“I’ve always found that if I examine something, it’s less scary.” This documentary offers an intimate exploration into the trajectory of Joan Didion’s writing career and her personal struggles. Directed by Didion’s nephew Griffin Dunne, the film features interviews with Hilton Als, Harrison Ford, Vanessa Redgrave, Anna Wintour, and others.

The Last Bookstore

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“I think that the digital age has made print books more popular in a weird way. It’s made everyone come out of the woodwork that really want to see books survive.” This short film directed by Chad Howitt explores the life of Josh Spencer, owner of the Last Bookstore, and what inspired him to open this popular independent bookstore in downtown Los Angeles. 

Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy

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"Robert, you've wasted so much of your life / Sitting indoors to write poems. Would you / Do that again? I would, a thousand times." In Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy, director Haydn Reiss tracks the evolution of the prolific, mystical poet and his impact on American poetry through interviews with Louise Erdrich, Edward Hirsch, Tracy K. Smith, and others.

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I Am Not Your Negro

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Based on an unfinished manuscript for a book by James Baldwin that would “tell his story of America through the lives of three of his murdered friends: Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X,” as the opening declares, this Oscar-nominated documentary is directed by Raoul Peck and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously

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“I want to be remembered as somebody who told good stories.” This documentary follows Neil Gaiman on his last book signing tour and chronicles his youth and successes as an author. Directed by Patrick Meaney, the film features interviews with the late Terry Pratchett, Lev Grossman, Michael Sheen, and others.

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Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

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“When you think about all her heroines who struggled to curb their temperament and discipline themselves, you get a sense of the writer herself.” Directed by Nancy Porter, this film biography from PBS's American Masters series, offers an intimate portrait of Louisa May Alcott and the influence her novel Little Women continues to have across cultures and generations.

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Four Portraits of John Berger

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The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger is a documentary about art critic, novelist, essayist, painter, and poet John Berger, whose latest essay collection is Landscapes: John Berger on Art (Verso Books, 2016). Cowritten by Ben Lerner and Tilda Swinton, the film was released in August 2016.

BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez

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"I wanted to tell people how I became this woman with razor blades between her teeth." BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez chronicles the life and work of poet and political activist Sonia Sanchez, including her emergence as a seminal figure in the Black Arts Movement, her tireless political activism, and a poetry career so great Maya Angelou called her "a lion in literature's forest." The documentary is directed by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon.

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