Streaming giant Netflix has announced their recent distribution plans for the Joan Didion centered documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. Premiering next month at the New York Film Festival, the film is filtered through the perspective of Didion’s nephew, actor and director Griffin Dunne, who has directed the feature largely from crowdfunded financing. Netflix will release the film on its streaming service in October.
Joan Didion is a renowned author, essayist, columnist, screenwriter, and cultural icon from the 1950s until today. The film combines archival footage of the author as well as interviews conducted by Dunne with his “Aunt Joan.” Didion will guide audiences through the underground literary scene in New York during the time she wrote for Vogue, to partying with Janis Joplin in LA, sitting in on recording sessions with Jim Morrison, having dinner with one of Charles Manson’s girls for a magazine piece, and much more. All of this will take us back to California, where she wrote many of her famous novels — Slouching Toward Bethlehem, The Year of Magical Thinking, The White Album, etc.
With a career spanning decades and countless mediums of media and entertainment, Didion continues to surprise and resonate with readers, even putting out a book written from notebook excerpts just this year titled South and West.
“How does one capture such a celebrated and prolific author while delivering something new for audiences to engage with?,” suggests Lisa Nishimura, Vice President of Original Documentaries. “Griffin does a superb job of bringing us into intimate, one on one conversations with his ‘Aunt Joan’, examining how her struggle shaped her work, and how her work helped shape American culture.”