A Poetic Movie Experience
“Breathe in experience, breathe out poetry.” ~ Muriel Rukeyser
There’s a long tradition of films about poets and their work. Try one of our suggestions below for the perfect cinematic event:
The Basketball Diaries — Based on the autobiography by poet and artist Jim Carroll, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, this film depicts Carroll’s reckless youth and the writing that becomes his means of clarity.
Before Night Falls — Javier Bardem plays Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas in this film, adapted from Arenas’s own memoir.
Bright Star — Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish play John Keats and Franny Brawne in this biographical romantic drama about the famous couple, which features several of Keats’s poems and takes its title from one of Keats’s famous love sonnets.
Il Postino — In this 1994 Italian film, a postman develops a relationship with his only customer, famous poet Pablo Neruda, living in exile in Italy, and through Neruda’s poetry, is better able to express his feelings to his love interest.
Kill Your Darlings — This biographical drama, starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg, Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr, Ben Foster as William S. Burroughs, and Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac, takes place in the early days of the Beat Movement when a 1944 murder affects the group of young writers.
Piñero — Benjamin Bratt stars in this biopic about Puerto Rican poet-playwright Miguel Piñero, who cofounded the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City.
Sylvia — The relationship of Ted Hughes, played by Daniel Craig, and Sylvia Plath, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is detailed in this film, which begins with the couple’s courtship as young college students.
Wilde — Based on Richard Ellmann’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the famous poet, novelist, and playwright, Wilde, starring Jennifer Ehle, Vanessa Redgrave, Jude Law, and Stephen Fry as the eponymous writer, recounts Oscar Wilde’s growing realization and acceptance of his sexuality, leading up to his notorious trial and imprisonment.