|(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)|
By Sharee Silerio
Months after winning an Oscar for Best Picture for “Moonlight”, award-winning writer and director Barry Jenkins has revealed his next project.
His follow-up film is an adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk” for Annapurna Pictures.
Jenkins wrote the screenplay in 2013, with support from the Baldwin estate, around the same time he created the script for “Moonlight”.
The novel is a tale of love and injustice, and Amazon summarizes it this way:
“Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions–affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.”
An American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet and social critic, James Baldwin was an insightful, iconic writer whose words and stories spoke intimately and powerfully about racial and social issues, most notably the black experience in America.
Jenkins will direct the film, which is his first feature since “Moonlight”.
According to the “LA Times”, filming will begin this October.
“James Baldwin is a man of and ahead of his time; his interrogations of the American consciousness have remained relevant to this day,” Jenkins said in a statement, per the “LA Times”. “To translate the power of Tish and Fonny’s love to the screen in Baldwin’s image is a dream I’ve long held dear. Working alongside the Baldwin estate, I’m excited to finally make that dream come true.”
Have you read James Baldwin’s novel “If Beale Street Could Talk”? Are you looking forward to watching Barry Jenkins’ adaptation on film?