Exploring the lives and trajectories of writers has become a fairly common film trope, since the movies are written by, well, writers. But the best films about writers elevate themselves far beyond navel-gazing, from Charlie Kaufman's artful deconstruction of self in Adaptation to the surrealism of Barton Fink to Cynthia Nixon's idiosyncratic Emily Dickinson in A Quiet Passion.
Staff Pick of the Day
Directed by Agnès Varda
Supplement a screening of Agnes Varda's Oscar-nominated Faces Places with a watch of her classic documentary from 2000, The Gleaners and I. Varda sets out to better understand the practices and lives of "gleaners," who survive by sifting through crops left behind by modern mechanical farming techniques, often existing in gray areas of the law. She also examines its urban analogues, speaking with those who dig through street-side refuse for both food and salvageable items. (Available on Sundance Now)