1. Emma Goldman
She has been in a couple of films but only as a side character (Reds is the main example). It would be awesome if she got a film to herself and it didn’t just focus on her relationships with men.
2. Mata Hari
Mata Hari is an interesting figure. Accused of being a spy during World War I, she was executed by the French. She was an exotic dancer with a made up name. There have been a couple of films about her, one starring the great Greta Garbo and another horrible one from the eighties. I just think it would be interesting to explore the mythos behind this creature and compare her to femme fatales today.
3. Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I am always interested in the process that writers have behind their most famous works. I think he would make a compelling film subject because his life was interesting and how he got inspiration for his works is just as interesting. I also think that it would be funny to see a Hollywood “hunk” have to get all ugly for this role. Dostoyevsky was not a pretty man with his long ass whiskers and his pinched face. And yet he captured a time and place so well with his works.
4. and 5. Diane di Prima and Hettie Jones
These two women were a major part of the beat generation. However they largely go unrecognized in films about the beat generation. These two women also had a history with each other. Hettie Jones was married to Amiri Baraka and ran his publishing company for him. Diane di Prima had an affair with Amiri while Hettie was putting together her poetry book and ended up having his child. I think it would be interesting to explore the marginalization of women in major literary movements along with their individual processes to art. I have not read Hettie’s autobiography, but I have read Diane’s and it was incredible. America was fundamentally so different back then and these two women help change America to what it is today.