Sunday, August 5, 2007

Setting Sayles

By Mike Gillis

There's a pretty decent primer of the films of John Sayles over at Cinematical. If you're not familiar with Sayles's work, it's as good an introduction as any. I'd add "Passion Fish," "Matewan," "Sunshine State" and the gorgeous "The Secret of Roan Inish" to the list. That's almost the entire catalog, I suppose.

I've long been an admirer of Sayles, who pens very tight, often small character studies.

It's pretty well known that Sayles, who is as independent as they come when directing his own material, also operates as a Hollywood script doctor, and is credited and uncredited for such movies as "Mimic," "Apollo 13," "The Quick and the Dead," "TheClan of the Cave Bear," "Jurassic Park IV," and. Sayles uses the cash from those gigs to help bankroll his own features. Sayles has been following that recipe since his first film, "Return of the Secaucus 7," which he shored up with $30,000 tucked away from writing Roger Corman pictures. Sayles also wrote three cult-favorite little B-pictures, "Pirahna," "Alligator" and "The Howling."

I have to admit I was disappointed with "Silver City," Sayles's last film, which was an uncharacteristically weak story and surprisingly miscast and even poorly acted.

I'm holding out hope for "Honeydripper."

See a rough-cut clip from "Honeydripper" below: