Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Joan Didion documentary on Netflix: THE CENTER WILL NOT HOLD
Joan Didion chronicled much of American life from the sixties till fairly recently. She wrote novels and two memoirs: both about the deaths of the two people in this picture. Her nephew Griffin Dunne, attempts to capture her life and work in this documentary. And although she fully cooperated with him, she remains something of an enigma at the end. A life as rich and full as her is difficult to put on film. Their are so many avenues to explore and only so much time. But this was a mostly successful attempt. Certainly the biographical ticks are covered. If there is a hole, it would be in not having a literary critic sum up her contribution to the modern essay and literature itself more fully. Why are SLOUCHING TOWARD BETHLEHEM and THE WHITE ALBUM still revered? What is it about her writing that enthralls most literary students?
In this photo, she is the onlooker. I think that sums her up fairly well. Highly recommended.