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Member Lists

Before Silver City
List creator: AHurley
Created on: October 5, 2004 - 2:41 PM PDT
Description: John Sayles and Maggie Renzi at their best! Sayles financed many of these ambitious films by writing pulp/pop screenplays.

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The Brother From Another Planet (1984)
  My favorite Sayles' film. Joe Morton's performance is sheer gold. Morton also appears in other Sayles' films, such as Lone Star.
Return of the Secaucus Seven (1980)
  The first Sayles' film and the basis for the de-politicized Big Chill. Sayles' regular David Strathairn appears, as does Sayles' partner, Renzi. Not gold, but interesting for what it anticipates.
Lone Star (1996)
  A fabulous story that speaks volumes about social injustice in the US. Chris Cooper (Dickie Pilager in Silver City) stars.
Santitos (1999)
  Sayles was executive producer of this film, which features many of his favorite actors.
Men With Guns (1997)
  Mostly shot in Chiapas, MWG tackles the oppression, which we may not see, that makes privilege possible. Would rather have seen more on North American responsibility though ...
Casa de los Babys (2003)
  While I generally like this film, I can't help wishing he'd been harder on the white would-be moms both individually and as a group. Still, another thought-provoking film.
The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
  A beautifully crafted and executed film. The politics here are subtle. The faces and landscapes are unforgettable.
Passion Fish (1992)
  While this may be his most celebrated film and it is very well-acted, I have a harder time feeling quite as enthusiastic about it. Still, any chance to see Alfre Woodard is worth it. Strathairn and Renzi are both good here too.
Sunshine State (2002)
  The topic (the perils of development) is interesting. It's not the best Sayles-Renzi project, but it features some keen and memorable moments.
Matewan (1987)
  Vintage Sayles. A must-see for anyone interested in films about the US, films about social justice, and labor rights. Chris Cooper appears again here.
Limbo (1999)
  A Strathairn showpiece that features Vanessa Martinez, another Sayles' regular. The story is very compelling and the ending ... perfect.
Lianna (1983)
  Maggie Renzi, the producer for all Sayles' films, his partner, and a fine performer, appears in this early Sayles' film about the wife (and former student) of a university professor who falls in love with a woman who teaches at the same school.
Eight Men Out (1988)
  Lucky #13. Only Sayles, Renzi, and Strathairn (as Renzi's pitcher hubbie) could make me like a sports movie. This one is riveting.

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