On the Life and Career of Joan Didion

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“What is lost is already behind the locked doors.” This mini-documentary by Made to Measure about the life of Joan Didion, outlines her early career as a research assistant at Vogue leading to her cult following in the sixties, and her literary impact as she was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2012. Didion’s essay collection Let Me Tell You What I Mean (Knopf, 2021) is featured in Page One in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live

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“She’s a fearsome critic, essayist, a voice of moral authority, and a deeply intimidating figure.” Joan Didion’s nephew, Griffin Dunne, speaks about Didion’s life and legacy, the subject of a documentary he is codirecting, which is currently being funded through Kickstarter. 

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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.

Joan Didion

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In this footage from an interview with NBC's Tom Brokaw in the 1970s, Joan Didion, who is shown with her late husband John Gregory Dunne, talks about the power of writing ("It's the only aggressive act I have") and her love of California ("I'm not sure I could work in a city"). Of course, Didion moved to New York City in 1988 and has lived there ever since. Near the end of the clip, watch Didion's poignant response to Brokaw's question about her optimism about the future.

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