A captivating exploration of the loving but tumultuous relationship between two of America's finest writers.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2021
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Following her Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (NZIFF 2012) and Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (NZIFF 2015) portraits, cine-biographer Lisa Immordino Vreeland turns her attention to two American literary giants. Vreeland deftly and movingly reconstructs the long and entangled friendship/rivalry between Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote through their own writing, media appearances and excerpts from the film adaptations of their respective works.
Two separate, astonishingly candid television interviews with David Frost, presented alongside each other, undergird the dialogue Vreeland concocts. Truman and Tennessee shared much in common, from their Southern roots, traumatic childhoods, homosexuality, addiction and perceptive understanding of the human psyche, not to mention a talent for cultivating public raconteur personas. Their professional trajectories and personal lives frequently intertwined; a fierce competitive spirit bruised their mutual respect. One suspects that, despite their ease with the cutting retort or bitchy appraisal of each other, the barbs must have stung two such sensitive men, who remained outsiders even when lavished with the glow of literary stardom.
Watching and listening to their conversation, witnessing their affinities and contradictions, reveals what trailblazers they were, both as writers and as gay icons. — Sandra Reid
“[A]n edifying exploration of two men whose work was groundbreaking when they created it and continues to be essential in American literary history. Told together, their collective impact on the zeitgeist then and now is all the more undeniable.” — Lisa Trifone, Third Coast Review