If ever two figures disproved the idea that writers should be read and not heard, they were Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. For the greater part of their careers, each also became a star performer on endless talk shows, literary giants as anecdote machines. The audiovisual history left behind is the springboard for Truman and Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation, an inventive dual portrait made from the spoken words of the subjects.

Capote’s impish tones were much evident too in another recent film, The Capote Tapes. Williams has been less documented on screen, for all that he shaped 1950s Hollywood. (Would Brando have been Brando without A Streetcar Named Desire?)

The pairing is no accident. They were long-term friends, sometime acrid rivals, whose lives unfolded in rough parallel, each sprung from Southern origin stories, isolated by their gayness, seeking power and acceptance through writing of all things, electrifying postwar America in the process. When the chat shows run short, director Lisa Immordino Vreeland calls on the voices of actors Zachary Quinto and Jim Parsons. The thesps only approximate the scribblers. Still, a bright spotlight falls on their psyches, the era they helped define and ours by comparison. Decades from now, will anyone want to hear from Aaron Sorkin?

★★★★☆

Available at watch.dogwoof.com and on other platforms in the UK from April 30