John Sayles, I hear, is working on the script for an HBO miniseries about the life of Louis Armstrong.
I, as you know, am putting the finishing touches on a major primary-source biography of Armstrong that will be published next fall by Harcourt. It is, in the words of a music-business insider who knew Armstrong well, “the best book ever written about a musical personality.” (No names yet, but you’ll be impressed.)
I’m also a great fan of Sayles’ films, as I explained in an essay called “Pictures of Words” that’s collected in A Terry Teachout Reader:
The only American writer-director I can think of whose work is at all like Sayles’ is Whit Stillman, and the comparison says a lot about both men, since their films don’t seem at first glance to have much in common….But Sayles, like Stillman, is unafraid to plant his camera firmly in one spot, point it at his characters, and let them talk. He knows that two people talking can be every bit as dramatic–and as visually rich–as two people trying to kill one another with digitally enhanced light sabers.
Might this be a match made in heaven? Very possibly–except that I don’t know how to get in touch with Sayles. Hence this posting.
If you know John Sayles, or know someone who knows him and can bring us together, or are in a position to make my interest in meeting him widely known, would you please do something about it? Write to me, or him, or whoever, or post something on your blog, or send up a flare.
Right away, please.