Being Flynn is a beautifully haunting yet captivating film that tells the story of lives falling apart and coming together. It displays the relationship between a man and his father, and how they really don’t have a relationship at all. Like a wire that has been coiled around and around for so long, then suddenly, slowly unravels. On the screen in front of our eyes is the unwinding story of Nick Flynn, one of the guest writers that will be visiting campus during the Writer’s Festival.
In 2004, Nick Flynn wrote Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, his memoir. The novel is emotionally challenging and alluring. Each section, or chapter if you will, is a poem in itself; each one so eloquently written, contrasting the devastation and heartache and threshold of numbing pain that consume the pages. Being Flynn would not be here without Nick Flynn’s memoir.
On March 2, 2012, Being Flynn hit the theaters. It was based off of Nick Flynn’s memoir. The basic story line is this: Nick Flynn works at a homeless shelter when he meets his father, a homeless man. Nick grew up knowing who his father was, at least taking his mother’s word for it. He is a drunk and a liar and a thief. But now Nick has to face him, but how? We see his perception of life crumble. Confusion, frustration, humiliation, and hurt paint his face as he tries to make sense of his past and become at peace with himself and those close to him. Paul Dano stars as Nick Flynn, Robert De Niro as his father, and Julianne Moore as his mother.
What must it be like to watch strangers, actors, play out the story of your life? Flynn answers all these questions following the film in another memoir called The Reenactments. He illustrates reaction and turbulent thought process through the filming of Being Flynn, a reenactment of his life.
Julianne Moore talks about why she was attracted to the idea of starring in the film. “[The book] was beautifully written and very unusual, and funny and entertaining, but really quite touching…it’s a beautiful piece of literature, it really is.”
–Written by Erin Pirkle