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By Kenneth Turan and Kenneth Turan,LOS ANGELES TIMES | May 15, 1996
CANNES, France -- This city's celebrated film festival is usually like a hibernating bear, slow getting started and difficult to rouse from a season's protracted slumber. This year has been different.The gala opening night film, for instance, often has little more than French origins or major names to recommend it: Consider that Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani's "Diabolique" was a serious contender this time around. Then saner heads selected Patrice Leconte's "Ridicule," which turned out to be an unusually intelligent, accomplished and bracing costume epic set in the court of Louis XVI, a pitiless world in which "vices are without consequence, but ridicule kills."
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 10, 2003
John Sayles has something to say in Casa de los Babys, about the relentless poverty afflicting Mexico, about the tragedy of children growing up among such depravation, about Americans and their condescending attitudes, about the plight of mothers forced to give up their babies and the emotional trauma suffered by women who desperately want children, but can't have them. Casa de los Babys, in which six women share a Mexican motel while waiting for the babies they've been promised, addresses all of those issues.
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By Stephen Wigler | October 6, 1991
Our cities are a mess: Crime is rampant, there's not enough money to pay for public services (but there is enough to line the pockets of the powerful and the wealthy), tribalism is rampant, everyone hates everyone else's guts and no one -- least of all the people who make movies -- seems to give a damn.No one, that is, except John Sayles, whose "City of Hope" opens Friday at the Charles Theatre. This is a film that is likely to make people aware of poverty and the spiritual sickness of our postindustrial age in the same entertaining but honest way that the great novels of Charles Dickens did in the England of his day.Perhaps not surprisingly, Sayles is also considered one of our best fiction writers -- he earned a MacArthur "genius" grant in 1983 -- and readers who don't pay much attention to movies are sometimes surprised to discover that he's also a filmmaker.
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July 2, 1999
John Sayles may be the most important American filmmaker whose work Americans don't go to see. At 47, he has made a dozen movies, most of them finely observed portraits of the communities, tribes and individuals that form the texture of American culture. Sayles seems well on his way to creating a vivid and detailed celluloid quilt of American life and history, with each square steeped in a deep sense of place.His first film, "Return of the Secaucus 7" (1980), was an ensemble coming-of-age comedy about a group of former 1960s radicals; "Baby, It's You" (1983)
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 19, 1996
It has yet to be determined whether John Sayles is the best novelist directing movies or the best director writing novels, but both talents are on display in "Lone Star," opening today at the Rotunda.The novelist in him drives Sayles to dense plots that evoke real issues of both policy and pain, that evoke complete universes.The director in him keeps his scenes short and pungent, keeps the story moving swiftly with enough grace to sustain the dance of several plot lines while stopping now and then to find a crisp image to express a complex idea.
FEATURES
July 2, 1999
John Sayles may be the most important American filmmaker whose work Americans don't go to see. At 47, he has made a dozen movies, most of them finely observed portraits of the communities, tribes and individuals that form the texture of American culture. Sayles seems well on his way to creating a vivid and detailed celluloid quilt of American life and history, with each square steeped in a deep sense of place.His first film, "Return of the Secaucus 7" (1980), was an ensemble coming-of-age comedy about a group of former 1960s radicals; "Baby, It's You" (1983)
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By Lou Cedrone and Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff | October 11, 1991
''City of Hope'' may just be John Sayles' best film to date. He's done some interesting films (''Eight Men Out,'' ''Return of -- the Secaucus Seven''), but none has been as complete and perceptive as "City of Hope."Sayles wrote, produced and directed the film, which takes place in Hudson City, where Tony Lo Bianco is a contractor with trouble on the job and at home. On the job, he is under pressure from the mayor and others who want him to surrender one of his tenements so that it can be leveled for development.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 10, 2003
John Sayles has something to say in Casa de los Babys, about the relentless poverty afflicting Mexico, about the tragedy of children growing up among such depravation, about Americans and their condescending attitudes, about the plight of mothers forced to give up their babies and the emotional trauma suffered by women who desperately want children, but can't have them. Casa de los Babys, in which six women share a Mexican motel while waiting for the babies they've been promised, addresses all of those issues.
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By New York Times News Service | June 12, 1992
Anybody have a title for John Sayles?The film maker responsible for works including "City of Hope," "Eight Men Out," "Matewan" and "The Return of the Secaucus Seven" is in the editing room these days, working on something he calls "the Louisiana project."But that's not the film's title. "I just never came up with one that I like," he said. "We have had contests among cast and crew and among local people down in Acadiana," he said, referring to the area of Louisiana where he shot the film.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 10, 1998
It makes perfect sense that John Sayles would write and direct a film in Spanish. In the course of his prodigious career, he has become one of the cinema's most observant and empathetic regionalists, capturing the vernacular, atmosphere and collective consciousness of communities as diverse as a West Virginia coal mining town and a Louisiana bayou, from the jungle of a New Jersey city to the Texas-Mexico border."
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 10, 1998
It makes perfect sense that John Sayles would write and direct a film in Spanish. In the course of his prodigious career, he has become one of the cinema's most observant and empathetic regionalists, capturing the vernacular, atmosphere and collective consciousness of communities as diverse as a West Virginia coal mining town and a Louisiana bayou, from the jungle of a New Jersey city to the Texas-Mexico border."
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 19, 1996
It has yet to be determined whether John Sayles is the best novelist directing movies or the best director writing novels, but both talents are on display in "Lone Star," opening today at the Rotunda.The novelist in him drives Sayles to dense plots that evoke real issues of both policy and pain, that evoke complete universes.The director in him keeps his scenes short and pungent, keeps the story moving swiftly with enough grace to sustain the dance of several plot lines while stopping now and then to find a crisp image to express a complex idea.
FEATURES
By Kenneth Turan and Kenneth Turan,LOS ANGELES TIMES | May 15, 1996
CANNES, France -- This city's celebrated film festival is usually like a hibernating bear, slow getting started and difficult to rouse from a season's protracted slumber. This year has been different.The gala opening night film, for instance, often has little more than French origins or major names to recommend it: Consider that Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani's "Diabolique" was a serious contender this time around. Then saner heads selected Patrice Leconte's "Ridicule," which turned out to be an unusually intelligent, accomplished and bracing costume epic set in the court of Louis XVI, a pitiless world in which "vices are without consequence, but ridicule kills."
FEATURES
By New York Times News Service | June 12, 1992
Anybody have a title for John Sayles?The film maker responsible for works including "City of Hope," "Eight Men Out," "Matewan" and "The Return of the Secaucus Seven" is in the editing room these days, working on something he calls "the Louisiana project."But that's not the film's title. "I just never came up with one that I like," he said. "We have had contests among cast and crew and among local people down in Acadiana," he said, referring to the area of Louisiana where he shot the film.
FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone and Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff | October 11, 1991
''City of Hope'' may just be John Sayles' best film to date. He's done some interesting films (''Eight Men Out,'' ''Return of -- the Secaucus Seven''), but none has been as complete and perceptive as "City of Hope."Sayles wrote, produced and directed the film, which takes place in Hudson City, where Tony Lo Bianco is a contractor with trouble on the job and at home. On the job, he is under pressure from the mayor and others who want him to surrender one of his tenements so that it can be leveled for development.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler | October 6, 1991
Our cities are a mess: Crime is rampant, there's not enough money to pay for public services (but there is enough to line the pockets of the powerful and the wealthy), tribalism is rampant, everyone hates everyone else's guts and no one -- least of all the people who make movies -- seems to give a damn.No one, that is, except John Sayles, whose "City of Hope" opens Friday at the Charles Theatre. This is a film that is likely to make people aware of poverty and the spiritual sickness of our postindustrial age in the same entertaining but honest way that the great novels of Charles Dickens did in the England of his day.Perhaps not surprisingly, Sayles is also considered one of our best fiction writers -- he earned a MacArthur "genius" grant in 1983 -- and readers who don't pay much attention to movies are sometimes surprised to discover that he's also a filmmaker.
NEWS
By Anne Whitehouse | June 23, 1991
LOS GUSANOS.John Sayles. HarperCollins.473 pages. $22.95. The third novel by independent filmmaker and writer John Sayles is a fragmented thriller, long on incident and short on plot, about a community of Cuban exiles living in Miami and those who come into contact with them. In scattered vignettes, Mr. Sayles presents a huge cast of characters who are motivated by intrigue, nostalgia, cruelty, romanticism and revenge.The novel revolves around an attack on Cuba being plotted by a woman named Marta de la Pena in 1981 for the 20th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs, in order to avenge her brother Ambrosio's death in that failed invasion.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Reporter | November 23, 2007
How did Hollywood, where people like to pat themselves on the back over how socially progressive they are, end up in a labor showdown over pennies? This industry is responsible for movies like Norma Rae with Sally Field, John Sayles' Matewan and The Grapes of Wrath - movies that trumpet the triumph of the working stiff. Hollywood is so proud of itself that the 2006 Oscar show paid video tribute to the town's social consciousness. So how can that industry let its labor relations devolve to this point?
NEWS
By Anne Whitehouse | June 23, 1991
LOS GUSANOS.John Sayles. HarperCollins.473 pages. $22.95. The third novel by independent filmmaker and writer John Sayles is a fragmented thriller, long on incident and short on plot, about a community of Cuban exiles living in Miami and those who come into contact with them. In scattered vignettes, Mr. Sayles presents a huge cast of characters who are motivated by intrigue, nostalgia, cruelty, romanticism and revenge.The novel revolves around an attack on Cuba being plotted by a woman named Marta de la Pena in 1981 for the 20th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs, in order to avenge her brother Ambrosio's death in that failed invasion.
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