John Sayles, Filmmaker

A Critical Study and Filmography, 2d ed.

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About the Book

In 1980, art house audience word of mouth about an unusual new movie, Return of the Secaucus Seven, launched the career of director John Sayles and with him the era of the independent filmmaker. Sayles has remained a maverick, writing, directing, editing and even acting in his own films.
This fully updated revision of the author’s 1998 first edition chronicles Sayles’ entire career—including the story of his inauspicious beginning as a second-string actor and his work in fiction, theatre, music videos and television. A chapter is devoted to each of Sayles’ feature films, offering background material on production funding, a plot sketch, an analysis of important characters, and a look at the language, setting, and politics. Each chapter also traces Sayles’ technical development—his camera work, editing, musical arrangement and mise-en-scène. The book includes a complete filmography and a bibliography.

About the Author(s)

Jack Ryan is an associate professor in the Department of English at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He publishes regularly in Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature.

Bibliographic Details

Jack Ryan
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 324
Bibliographic Info: 40 photos, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3551-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5682-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      viii

Preface to the Second Edition      ix

Introduction      1

1. A Storyteller: From Literature to Film      5

2. Outside and Inside the Production System      38

3. An Escaped Slave, the Boss, and Union History      76

4. Cityscapes: Baseball’s Lost Souls and Urban Renewal      113

5. The Power of the Physical World: From Soap Opera Diva to Celtic Myth      144

6. Borders: Texas, the Academy, and Mexico      175

7. Commodities: Real Estate and Babies      214

8. Human Geography: Business-as-Usual Politics, Stagolee’s Blues Redux, and a Commitment to Independence      258

Filmography      297

Bibliography      303

Index      311

Book Reviews & Awards

“essential”—Choice; “writing with intelligence and in scholarly fashion, Ryan captures…the essence of Sayles’ filmmaking quality”—Classic Images.