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As I recently stated, I am re-establishing a routine of reading to my daughters.  They seem to enjoy the connection and we all love the stories.  There have been more than a few interruptions so we are still making our way through Brian Selznick‘s The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  We started the book with the intention of seeing the movie.  It looks like we’ll miss the chance on the big screen but, even on DVD, I will be satisfied with the time I spent in my daughters’ company.

We are nearing the conclusion of the story and it occurred to me that many stories use real locations, people, and events in crafting the fictional spaces for their characters to inhabit.  I started wondering how many of my favorite books and films included the specific use of historical figures in an invented tale. Right now, however, I am having a particularly hard time remembering any.  Maybe you could help.

I am considering movies or stories that fit the following criteria:

  1. The story is completely understood to be a work of fiction.  I have only a set of movies by comparison to suggest what I am not including.  Most war movies are, for example, more like historical fiction in which some richer tapestries of known events are explored and characters are all actual or amalgamated people. The recent Red Tails film about the Tuskegee Airmen fits this category.
  2. The historical figure is more than a caricature. Movies in which the person is parodied or utilized as a cliché version of themselves are not what I am looking for.  The various insertions of thinkers, leaders, etc. in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, for example, lack the nuance I am appreciating.
  3. The interaction between the fiction and history is direct.  While I found the premise of Julie & Julia somewhat endearing (of course, the acting of  Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci made the whole thing worth seeing), the characters never met and their relationship was strictly inspirational.

Perhaps there are other significant features that narrow this field of observation.  These three will do for now.  As I search, I would invite you to suggest the film of your choice (books are welcome as well).

By the way, tell a friend to stop by…the larger the catalog, the better.

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4 responses »

  1. Caroline says:

    How old are your daughters? It’s wonderful that you are sharing the love of reading. I’ve actually never read Invention of Hugo Cabret, but I really enjoyed Wonderstruck. Thanks for the pingback!

    • Ty says:

      They are just becoming teenagers, actually. I suppose some might argue they are too old to be read bedtime stories. I am finding, however, that the bond we form is invaluable. I’ve seen Wonderstruck at the library. We may have to check it out.

      • Caroline says:

        Oh it’s never too old for bedtime stories. Here’s a memoir I read about a father who read every night until she left for college. Remember it doesn’t really matter what is being read, just as long as you enjoy the time. ‘The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared’ by Alice Ozma

        • Ty says:

          I read that article too. It is what inspired me to resume my bedtime reading. I described that in an earlier post this year. Now that I’ve seen your blog, I’ll probably have lots of books worth reading. Thanks for your comments.

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