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Netflix to Release Gay Talese, Joan Didion Documentaries

Netflix has unveiled a pair of documentaries — Gay Talese’s “Voyeur” and “Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold” — and plans to release both later this year.

Both titles are due to premiere first at the 55th New York Film Festival in October.

“Voyeur” follows Talese as he reports one of the most controversial stories of his career: a portrait of a Colorado motel owner, Gerald Foos. For decades, Foos secretly watched his guests with the aid of specially designed ceiling vents, peering down from an “observation platform” he built in the motel’s attic and kept detailed journals.

Talese had originally published the story about Foos in the New Yorker, then set up the project at Amblin with Sam Mendes attached to direct, but the “Voyeur’s Motel” project was dropped from development after questions emerged about the veracity of some of the details of the story.

“It’s an incredible honor to be able to add the next chapter in this fascinating story. NYFF is the perfect place to premiere this film about legendary New York journalist Gay Talese. And we’re very excited to release ‘Voyeur’ globally with Netflix, to many new curious eyes,” said “Voyeur” directors Myles Kane and Josh Koury.

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold” is directed by her nephew Griffin Dunne and includes footage of Didion partying with Janis Joplin in a house full of L.A. rockers; hanging in a recording studio with Jim Morrison; and cooking dinner for one of Charles Manson’s women for a magazine story.

“It is a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to convey the life and work of my aunt, and literary icon, Joan Didion,” said Dunne. “This documentary is a true labor of love and to partner with Netflix, who will help bring this to a global audience, is more than I could have hoped for when I started on this over five years ago. And to world premiere at NYFF, is just the icing on the cake.”

“Joan Didion” will launch Oct. 27 and is produced by Dunne, Mary Recine, and Annabelle Dunne.

“Voyeur” is a Netflix original documentary, in association with Impact Partners, produced by Brooklyn Underground Films in association with Chicago Media Project and Public Record.

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