Anthology Film Archives


September 6 – September 18

This is the third installment of FROM THE PEN OF, an ongoing series designed to spotlight that brutally neglected figure most often forgotten in the filmmaking process, namely the screenwriter. Famously devalued and barely recognized by cinephiles more prone to celebrate auteurs and actors, screenwriters are rarely acknowledged with critical studies or repertory retrospectives, particularly those who emerged hot on the heels of the demise of the studio system in the 1960s. While audiences may associate the works they penned more closely with particular directors-as-superstars, a closer study reveals that the sensibility and ingenuity of particular screenwriters shines through in each of these films.

On this calendar we are highlighting the screenwriting work of writers best known as novelists – including pulp novelists like Richard Matheson, Donald Westlake, and Elmore Leonard, cult figures such as Don Carpenter and John Fante, and such highly respected authors as Truman Capote and Joan Didion. Paying homage to the long tradition of novelists trying their hand at writing for the movies, we will present a selection of films based not on these writers’ novels, but on their original screenplays (which are sometimes adaptations of other novelists’ work).

FROM THE PEN OF is programmed in close collaboration with author/musician Alan Licht.

Very special thanks to Alan Licht, and to Robert Downey Sr., Rudy Wurlitzer, David Bergad (Saul Zaentz Company), Brian Block (Criterion Pictures USA), Chris Chouinard (Park Circus), Paul Ginsburg (Universal), Adam Hulin, Christopher Lane (Sony), Mona Nagai (Pacific Film Archive), Judy Nicaud (Paramount), Caitlin Robertson (20th Century Fox), and Marilee Womack (WB).

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