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More Director's Checklist Series - Volume #201: John Sayles


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#1 of 43 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted July 15 2005 - 03:13 AM

Picking up where Jim left off, I'm not sure how long I'll go with this. Depends on how much work it ends up being editing the IMBD lists.

Rank 'em, rate 'em, review 'em, whatever:

Volume #201 - John Sayles

Silver City (2004)
Casa de los babys (2003)
Sunshine State (2002)
Limbo (1999)
Men with Guns (1997)
Lone Star (1996)
The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
Passion Fish (1992)
City of Hope (1991)
"Shannon's Deal" (1990) TV Series
Eight Men Out (1988)
Matewan (1987)
The Brother from Another Planet (1984)
Baby It's You (1983)
Lianna (1983)
Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980)

2002 Sight & Sound Challenge: 321  Last Watched: L'enfance Nue
Last 8 Films Watched: In the Loop - A- / It Might Get Loud - B+ / What Just Happened? - B / Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - C- / Drums Along the Mohawk - A- / Punisher War Zone - B+ / Moon - C+ / A Man For All Seasons - B+

#2 of 43 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted July 15 2005 - 03:35 AM

He was indie, when indie wasn't cool. Sayles is a big personal favorite. I love his writing style and ability to create rich, memorable characters. He's one of the only American filmmakers willing to make films critiquing class and sociological issues and their historical underpinings. Unfortunately he seems to be in a bit of a slump lately.

*1. Limbo - A (a great film from a great year. Rare is the American film that has the deep and complex characterizations seen here)
*2. The Secret of Roan Inish - A (A wonderful, heartwarming fairy tale story with beautiful locations)
*3. Lone Star - A (Sayles' breakthrough film about a murder mystery in a racially conflicted Texas town)
*4. Sunshine State - A- (Often funny, but scathing look at the corporatization of small town America)
5. Men With Guns - A-
6. Passion Fish - A-
(Sayles takes a tired concept and creates a fine romantic film with a trio of outstanding performances)
*7. Eight Men Out - B+ (An excellent period recreation and a pretty good baseball film, I have to take points off for Sayles slant of siding with the players who deserved their punishment)
8. Matewan - B (one I need to rewatch)
9. The Brother From Another Planet - B (excellent premise, but the film gets sidetracked and doesn't go as far as it should have.
10. Honeydripper - B
11. Casa de los Babys - B-
(some nice character moments but a clunker politically and socially)
12. Silver City - C+ (some occasional humor but an all around disappointment that feels like Sayles rushed to get something out about the election)

Own: 5

Lianna and Secaucus 7 are out on DVD but I haven't gotten around to renting them. I've heard great things about City of Hope but it remains unreleased. Baby It's You occasionally shows up on Lifetime but isn't on DVD and I don't want to watch it in a non-OAR, possibly edited form with commercials.
2002 Sight & Sound Challenge: 321  Last Watched: L'enfance Nue
Last 8 Films Watched: In the Loop - A- / It Might Get Loud - B+ / What Just Happened? - B / Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - C- / Drums Along the Mohawk - A- / Punisher War Zone - B+ / Moon - C+ / A Man For All Seasons - B+

#3 of 43 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted July 15 2005 - 04:31 AM

I've seen none of his, and have no interest in seeing any.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#4 of 43 OFFLINE   Bill McA

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Posted July 15 2005 - 05:34 AM

Ratings from Posted Image to Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


Honeydripper (2007)
Silver City (2004) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Casa de los babys (2003) Posted Image Posted Image
Sunshine State (2002) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image (Own the DVD)
Limbo (1999) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Men with Guns (1997) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Lone Star (1996) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
The Secret of Roan Inish (1994) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Passion Fish (1992) Posted Image Posted Image
City of Hope (1991) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Eight Men Out (1988) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Matewan (1987) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
The Brother from Another Planet (1984) Posted Image Posted Image
Baby It's You (1983) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image (Own the DVD)
Lianna (1983) Posted Image Posted Image
Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980) Posted Image Posted Image

Seen 15
Own 2

John Sayles is the 10th director in this series that I've seen/met in person. The first time I met him was at an invitational-only premiere screening of Limbo which I watched the film with Sayles sitting right next to me.
He wears this really strong soapy-smelling cologne, I could barely breathe! Posted Image

It was funny watching his reaction to the audibly upset audience reaction to Limbo's ending...he just kinda leaned forward and scratched his chin a bit. Posted Image

I've seen none of his, and have no interest in seeing any.
Posted Image
       

#5 of 43 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted July 15 2005 - 07:17 AM

George, I thought you were a hippie rabble-rouser who would fit in well with Sayles' populist leanings? Posted Image

Kidding aside, I think you might like The Secret Of Roan Inish. It really is a good-hearted family film with a very positive view of children. Something of a grittier version of those 60's live action Disney movies, only better and without the terrifying Stepford kids. My children enjoyed it and they usually get antsy during talkier movies.

Posted Image Fun story Bill, did you talk to Sayles at all?
2002 Sight & Sound Challenge: 321  Last Watched: L'enfance Nue
Last 8 Films Watched: In the Loop - A- / It Might Get Loud - B+ / What Just Happened? - B / Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - C- / Drums Along the Mohawk - A- / Punisher War Zone - B+ / Moon - C+ / A Man For All Seasons - B+

#6 of 43 OFFLINE   DavidBC

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Posted July 15 2005 - 07:30 AM

Sunshine State (2002) - B
Limbo (1999) - A (quite simply one of the most extraordinary movies I've ever seen)
I don't care for modern films. All crashing cars and close-ups of people's feet.
-Lillian Gish
 

#7 of 43 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted July 15 2005 - 08:19 AM

Posted Image
Posted Image

George, I thought you were a hippie rabble-rouser who would fit in well with Sayles' populist leanings?
Perhaps, and I might end up seeing his films someday. The fact that I have no interest in any of his films doesn't mean I won't one day watch them. I basically know nothing about his films except that:
He was indie, when indie wasn't cool. Sayles is a big personal favorite. I love his writing style and ability to create rich, memorable characters. He's one of the only American filmmakers willing to make films critiquing class and sociological issues and their historical underpinings. Unfortunately he seems to be in a bit of a slump lately.

Rare is the American film that has the deep and complex characterizations seen here
Those kind of statements certainly make him come across as the type of director I wouldn't like, which is all I was expressing when I so upset Bill. Posted Image
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#8 of 43 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted July 15 2005 - 05:26 PM

I double-checked my to rent list and Lone Star is on there, so that's at least one Sayles film I'll eventually see (though there are 775 other films on that list at the moment).
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#9 of 43 OFFLINE   Bill McA

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Posted July 15 2005 - 05:49 PM

Oh, I wasn't upset George. Posted Image

I was just admiring your open-mindedness and your willingness to experience new cinematic pleasures, a trait that is very common amongst film lovers...which you once claimed to be? Posted Image


Brook, I never said more than a few words to Sayles...he looked waaay too serious and unapproachable for chit-chat.
He seemed to be this quiet but overly macho, man's man type of guy, about 6 feet tall and built like a lumberjack with a shirt open to the waist (remember this was in Canada!)...plus, I was having difficulty breathing! Posted Image
       

#10 of 43 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted July 15 2005 - 06:16 PM

Ratings out of Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


JOHN SAYLES (1950 -     )

Amigo (2010)

Honeydripper (2007) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Silver City (2004) Posted Image Posted Image
Casa de los babys (2003)
Sunshine State (2002) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Limbo (1999) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Men with Guns (1997) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Lone Star (1996)
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
The Secret of Roan Inish (1994) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Passion Fish (1992) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

City of Hope (1991) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Eight Men Out (1988) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Matewan (1987) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
The Brother from Another Planet (1984) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Baby It's You (1983) Posted Image Posted Image
Lianna (1983)
Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980) Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image




Death before Streaming!


#11 of 43 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted July 16 2005 - 12:42 AM

Seen 'em all except the tv series and COH; need to revisit ROTS7 - maybe today or tomorrow...

#12 of 43 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted July 16 2005 - 12:48 AM

I was just admiring your open-mindedness and your willingness to experience new cinematic pleasures, a trait that is very common amongst film lovers...which you once claimed to be?
Posted Image I am open-minded. The fact that I have no interest in seeing his films, doesn't mean that I'm not going to, or that I won't give them a fair shake. Of course, like everyone here, there are films that don't sound good to me a priori. But that doesn't mean I'm not open-minded or willing to experience new films. Saying that Sayles doesn't sound good to me ahead of time means I'm not a film lover?

I have a film. It's a four hour home movie of my son. Do you have any interest in seeing it Bill? If not, I guess you're not open-minded, and not a film lover. Posted Image
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#13 of 43 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted July 16 2005 - 03:47 AM

George watched Ratcatcher recently. That wasn't something I expected to show up on his "viewed" list. He's been slowly watching the Criterion films. He doesn't like, even hates, a good deal of them, but at least he's watching and giving them a chance. Posted Image
2002 Sight & Sound Challenge: 321  Last Watched: L'enfance Nue
Last 8 Films Watched: In the Loop - A- / It Might Get Loud - B+ / What Just Happened? - B / Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - C- / Drums Along the Mohawk - A- / Punisher War Zone - B+ / Moon - C+ / A Man For All Seasons - B+

#14 of 43 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted July 16 2005 - 05:11 AM

Thanks Brook. Yeah, the Criterion list is one I'm going through. I have to admit that my primary motivation is to discover any I like so I can buy them before the go out of print, but it's also a good list to supplement things like S&S. My current Criterion film at bat (#12 in my rental queue) is High & Low which I'm actually looking forward to.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#15 of 43 OFFLINE   Bill McA

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Posted July 16 2005 - 06:33 AM

The fact that I have no interest in seeing his films, doesn't mean that I'm not going to, or that I won't give them a fair shake.

More twisted George Kaplan logic...

In these English-speaking parts, "I've seen none of his, and have no interest in seeing any." means exactly that!

High & Low which I'm actually looking forward to.

So that statement actually means that you're never going to watch it, right??????
Just trying to decode your unique brand of English, George Posted Image

but at least he's watching and giving them a chance.

Sorry Brook, but if George's trip through the Criterion catalogue means that we're going to be subjected to more illustrious Rex Reed-style 'critiques' such as "You know you've seen waaaaay too many horrible films, when a film as wretched as this pile of dung is nowhere near the worst film you've seen.", well I just can't share your enthusiasm for George's quest for enlightenment (aka looking for discs before they go OOP)

Posted Image
       

#16 of 43 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted July 16 2005 - 10:27 AM

Bill,

Despite what you think, having expectations about films one hasn't seen is perfectly normal. Being open-minded doesn't mean having no preconceptions, it means not being beholden to those preconceptions.

You seem mostly upset by the fact that I post such strongly worded negative review about films you like, after I have seen them. So much so, that you seem to think my posts about them are worthless.

There is a much easier and more effective solution to that, than constantly posting negative rhetoric about me. Simply add me to your ignore list.

Then you won't have to listen to my so-called 'twisted logic'. Posted Image
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#17 of 43 OFFLINE   Bill McA

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Posted July 16 2005 - 11:19 AM

Despite what you think, having expectations about films one hasn't seen is perfectly normal.

Of course it is...but that's NOT the same thing as saying "I've seen none of his, and have no interest in seeing any".

There is a big difference in stating "I'm not sure his films will be to my liking" as opposed to "and have no interest in seeing any"...especially when you haven't seen any!!

Being open-minded doesn't mean having no preconceptions, it means not being beholden to those preconceptions.

Which is why I continue to watch Spielberg's newest films despite really low expectations...sometimes even outright dread.

You seem mostly upset by the fact that I post such strongly worded negative review about films you like


Wrong again George!
It doesn't matter whether we agree or not, it's the nature and wording of your 'critiques' which consist of nothing but lame, bait-fuelled comparisons to other films, bodily excretions and the like.

Yawn....
       

#18 of 43 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted July 16 2005 - 03:47 PM

have no interest in seeing any
To paraphrase a film that I love (and therefore you probably hate), I don't think that phrase means what you think it means. You seem to read that line as I "have no intention of seeing any", which is not the case. I've heard many people here on HTF (many whom share your taste in film quite a bit), say that they "will never watch" certain films, but that's not what I'm saying. If you continue to misinterpret what I say, then fine, but after this explanation, I'm through trying to explain it to you.

As for my critiques, when a film is a piece of shit, then calling it a piece of shit is often the most pithy way of stating the opinion. When that's my honest opinion I state it, and whether the opinion itself, the fact that I'm willing to state it, or the fact that I'm willing to state it so bluntly is what bothers you, again, the best solution is to put me on ignore, which would save you a lot of aggravation since my reviews
consist of nothing but lame, bait-fuelled comparisons to other films, bodily excretions and the like.
Since they consist of nothing but that, then you will have nothing to lose by putting me on your ignore list, and quite a bit to lose by not putting me on it, because I have no intention of stopping my practice of telling it like it is about these films, no matter how much you complain.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#19 of 43 OFFLINE   Bill McA

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Posted July 17 2005 - 03:19 AM

So George, do you often watch films that you have no interest in seeing??? Posted Image

Semantics and backpeddling...

I post such strongly worded negative review about films
I'm sorry George, but if you believe that pooh-pooh and ca-ca talk constitutes "strongly worded" you are sorely mistaken.
It's infantile and a very boring read!

My 8-year old niece can do a better movie review than that. Posted Image

As for putting you on Ignore, I won't do it!

It's not my style to simply ignore things that annoy, irritate or puzzle...I'd rather have those things in my face everyday so that I may continue to contemplate them.

The Ignore List is for children. Posted Image
       

#20 of 43 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted July 17 2005 - 04:24 AM

So George, do you often watch films that you have no interest in seeing???
Yes, of course.

And I must say Bill, if you never, ever, do anything that you have no interest in doing, then I can only assume you're not married, and don't have a girlfriend. Posted Image
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...