Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams — writers, celebrities, geniuses — catapulted to fame in the 1950s, sparking a friendship and rivalry spanning nearly 40 years until their deaths within a year of each other. Inextricably entwined, and fixtures of their age, they were creative powerhouses (and gay men) who dealt with success and its evanescence in vastly different ways.
In Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation, filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland (Love, Cecil, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel) brings the two forces together in a unique and fascinating tête-à-tête, comparing and contrasting their trajectories through dueling voices — the writers’ own, culled from archival footage, and the voices of actors Jim Parsons and Zachary Quinto (The Boys in the Band) portraying, respectively, Capote and Williams at various stages of their lives. Both created rich, imaginary worlds and characters (Blanche DuBois, Holly Golightly) that left indelible marks on the era — and both paid the price of colossal success and fame through alcoholism and periods of artistic stagnation.
Truman and Tennessee were two of the most important literary voices in America during the 20th century, and they were both from the Deep South, sharing the common ground of broken childhoods and wanting to write from a very young age. They both had absent fathers, they both suffered from depression, and they both became alcoholics. And they shared this joie de vivre of living in Europe and being expats. Their friends in Europe overlapped, including Paul and Jane Bowles and Donald Windham. They made for an interesting pair and now they are made for a very interesting film.
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation – available in virtual cinemas & on Dogwoof on Demand from April 30th