Few people know that the famous author of Tropic of Cancer was an accomplished and respected painter who completed over 3000 watercolors in his lifetime. Painting, like his writing, was a metaphor for living life to the fullest. And few people have lived with as much zest and passion as Henry Miller.
In his own words and persona, and through rare and never before released footage and audio, this film offers an unprecedented glimpse into the mind and heart of one of America’s greatest authors and artists.
Henry Miller reads from his book “To Paint is to Love Again”
This is one of several unfinished films that Robert Snyder began some years ago. Taking their cue from a 25-minute rough-cut that Snyder left in his vaults Jaime Snyder, his son, and John Ferry, a long-time associate of the Snyders have crafted a 54-minute version that preserves both the style and spirit of Snyder’s earlier documentaries.
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The Henry Miller Odyssey
A 90-minute color documentary on the life of the colossus of Big Sur at work, living and revisiting old haunts in Paris and Brooklyn, talking with such friends as Lawrence Durrell, Anais Nin, Alfred Perles, Brassai and Jakob Gimpel. The NY Times said, “Excellent…don’t miss it.” The LA Times: “invaluable for its barrage of opinions..beautifully photographed and deftly structured.”
The New York Times wrote in a review from 1974: “In many fascinating flashbacks, the movie details a writer’s apprenticeship on the road from Brooklyn to Big Sur, while Mr. Miller narrates in his hoarse, nasal voice. In high school, he volunteered that his vocation might be clowning—an impulse that’s recalled when we see him (aged 78) laughing at his own long, rubbery face in a mirror. Early on, he worked in his father’s tailor’s shop, then became the employment manager of Western Union, and edited the catalogue of a mail-order house. Then he quit all jobs to write: “I walked up Broadway feeling like the happiest man on earth”—since he planned to be his own boss forever. “Then began 10 years of misery”—when he doubted his ability and couldn’t sell his work—followed by the exhilaration of Paris, “where I found my voice,” which surfaced in “Tropic of Cancer.”
Henry Miller on The Artist and individuality, Dostoevsky and Nietzsche