Another Country
James Baldwin

And I choose this partially because I think it could only be made as a sprawling, three-and-a-half hour film that wouldn’t be accessible enough to become popular. Focusing on the public and private lives of a group of several bohemian friends in Greenwich Village in the ’70s, Baldwin’s novel — with equal amounts of narrative complexity and bluntness — tears away pretenses of race, gender and sexuality in order to dissect culturally-charged passion in its purest forms. A lot goes on, but it would make a great film because it tells good stories, and I’d like to put fictional a face on someone like Rufus, a black, bisexual jazz musician who is inevitably damaged by the pressures of society. Having said that, I guess it could just as easily end up being one of those sappy movies that ends up with eight Oscar nominations even though it sucks. But it would be worth the try.

-Sam Spokony

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