Joshua Sanchez: On Making the Movie Four

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RELEASED last fall and now available in home video formats, Four is a gripping and insightful exploration of the lives of four characters who are grappling with their fears and desires around connecting intimately with another person. Adapted from the play Dying City, by Christopher Shinn, Four is a film about loneliness and the lengths to which people will go to form relationships, regardless of the risks and obstacles. With this film, Joshua Sanchez makes his debut as a screenwriter and director of a feature-length movie.

         Set in “Everytown, USA,” on a sultry July Fourth, we encounter Joe (Wendell Pierce), a middle-aged, married, African-American professor who has arranged an assignation via the Internet with June (Emory Cohen), a teenage white boy who’s struggling with his sexuality. At the same time, Joe’s daughter Abigayle (Aja Naomi King) is conflicted about her attraction to a former basketball star named Dexter ( E. J. Bonilla), who is poor, uneducated, and from a different cultural and racial background. In addition, there’s the spectral presence of Joe’s wife and Abigayle’s mother, who appears ever so briefly but packs a wallop when she does. Sick and confined to her bed, she’s the focal point of Joe’s guilt and closeted sexuality as well as Abigail’s grief.

         What follows is an interview with Joshua Sanchez. A native of Houston and a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA film program, in 2003 he won the HBO Young Producer’s Development Award. He lives in Brooklyn.

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