Last month, Griffin Dunne and his co-director, Susanne Rostock, launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise $80,000 for a documentary dedicated to Joan Didian called, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live. The project immediately hit the spotlight and quickly surpassed its initial goal. Now, Dunne is ready to share his thoughts about his recent success.
As previously reported, We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live is the first and only documentary being made about Joan Didion, the American novelist and literary journalist. The Year of Magical Thinking, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and Play It As It Lays just a few of Didion’s works.
The directors wrote, “We want to honor Joan’s language, to visualize the stories she tells, to put her words to picture. Joan’s obsessive memory, and her sharp and unsettling observations, will be brought to life, using music and images–rare and atmospheric film and stills that encapsulate her words. We will also be using rare archival from Joan’s personal life and family history.”
During an interview with Variety magazine, Dunne stated, “We were flabbergasted by the love and dollars and cents that came flooding in from all over the world. It was almost as if people wanted to thank Joan for everything she’s written. These are passionate fans who couldn’t have waited for this to happen.”
Dunne, who is best known for his work on the sets of After Hours and An American Werewolf in London, shared that Didion has been discovered by a younger group of readers after The Year of Magical Thinking and Blue Nights. He said, “At Q&A’s with Joan, there are lines around the block. Her readership has gotten younger and younger and those books have opened up whole new audiences to her. People experimented those books as handbooks for grief. It transcended generations. She articulated something we all feel when life deals us a bad hand.”
In regards to why he choose to use Kickstarter, Dunne admitted he had a hard time finding financing before turning the crowdfunding option. He noted that he hopes the funds will make the task of securing post-production backing and distribution easier. He added, “it was not an easy sell. People were respectful and said they were fans of Joan, but they didn’t see much of an audience. Well they do now.”
With only sixteen days left, the campaign has raised $195,559 from 3,065 backers.
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