In his novel Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon diagnoses writers with the "midnight disease," a form of insomnia driven by late-night inspiration, resulting in daytime madness. These movies and the books that influenced them demonstrate witness its effects.
Anyone who has ever struggled with writing will appreciate Charlie Kaufman's tortured self-portrait of his attempt to adapt a book into a movie, a movie that is also part of this movie. Definitely an idea hatched in the middle of the night.
Miles's struggles to become a published novelist may be the least of his problems, but they sure don't help. A nightcap could be a source of inspiration, but one too many and, well, you end up sideways.
After more than 100 years, Wilde's reputation as wit and playwright still stands. Read his fairy tales to experience the prose of a softer Wilde, though no less imaginative and no less exquisitely expressed.
In this movie you witness the late stages of the midnight disease, where writing is forgotten and total madness ensues. There is a fair element of debauchery in the movies on this list, but it definitely reaches a crescendo here with the escapades of Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo.
Fink's insomnia results in part from his trying to write a play while staying in the second-worst hotel in America. The worst being, of course, The Overlook, another writer's hell. His next-door neighbor also happens to be a psychopathic insurance salesman. No wonder Fink can't sleep.
Although Barton Fink is most definitely not based on Faulkner's novel, Faulkner is a character in the movie. He, like Fink, wrote scripts for Hollywood, but it's his great novel that has an air of midnight madness about it.