“My first notebook was given to me by my mother with the suggestion that I amuse myself by writing down my thoughts,” says Joan Didion in a new trailer for an upcoming Netflix documentary about her life and work. “I didn’t have any real clear picture of how to do it but I do remember having a very clear sense that I wanted this to continue.” And continue it did. Her 50-year career includes essays, novels, screenplays, and criticism.
“Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold” features archival footage of the celebrated American writer as well as in-depth interviews “about the eras she covered and the eventful life she’s lived, including partying with Janis Joplin in a house full of L.A. rockers; hanging in a recording studio with Jim Morrison; and cooking dinner for one of Charles Manson’s women for a magazine story,” the doc’s official synopsis details. “Didion guides us through the sleek literati scene of New York in the 1950s and early ’60s, when she wrote for Vogue, her return to her home state of California for two turbulent decades,” and much more.
“I’ve always found if I examine something it’s less scary,” Didion explains in the spot. One of the scariest experiences Didion has faced was the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne, which she chronicled in “The Year of Magical Thinking,” the winner of the 2005 National Book Award for Nonfiction, and a topic of discussion in “The Center Will Not Hold.”
Didion’s best known books include “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” “The White Album,” and “Play It As It Lays.” “A Star Is Born,” “True Confessions,” and “Up Close & Personal” are among the screenplays she’s penned.
“Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold” is directed by Griffin Dunne (“The Good Wife”) and hits Netflix October 27.
Trailer Watch: Joan Didion Finds Her Voice in Netflix Doc “The Center Will Not Hold” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.