Skip

John Sayles' Baryo
January 19, 2010 10:10 PM   Subscribe

John Sayles, writer and director of critically acclaimed and socially conscious films like Passion Fish and Lone Star, writer of trashier fare including Piranha and Battle Beyond the Stars, director of a couple music videos you might remember, and award-winning short-story writer and novelist, is working on a new project about the beginnings of the Philippine-American War. His long-time partner and producer Maggie Renzie and other crew are blogging the project as it is in progress.
posted by serazin (27 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't forget Limbo and Sunshine State, two incredible films that delve deep into the psyches of the two craziest states in the Union: Alaska and Florida.
posted by Bromius at 10:42 PM on January 19, 2010


He also did Return of the Secaucus 7 which inspired The Big Chill.
posted by milkwood at 11:12 PM on January 19, 2010


This should be interesting. Isn't this war still being called an "insurrection" in American history books? If the Filipinos had won it would have been called their war of independence from imperialist colonialists. Sad. The fighting actually dragged on for 13 years with over one million deaths.

(I used to note to Hawai'i students that perhaps Queen Lili'uokalani was prescient when just four years before the massacre in the Philipines she chose NOT to battle the invading Americans -- she told her people that she not want to risk bloodshed.)

Good links, serazin. I think I will follow that blog.
posted by Surfurrus at 12:32 AM on January 20, 2010


Man I got so scared reading the first part of that until I got to the verb and it wasn't "died". There ought to be a metasymbol to indicate that you are simply glad that someone is still Alive and doing great work.

I'm going with: !
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:03 AM on January 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


If the Filipinos had won it would have been called their war of independence from imperialist colonialists.
In our textbooks, it is. Our politicians tend to gloss over the tiny fact of the eventual American victory and date our independence back to 1898.
posted by micketymoc at 1:19 AM on January 20, 2010


Sayles and Coakley both on the blue. What a day.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:25 AM on January 20, 2010


Man I got so scared reading the first part of that until I got to the verb and it wasn't "died".

You weren't alone; I was groaning. It required reading 3/4 of the way through before you could tell that it wasn't an obit.

Note to self: If doing a similar post, use a format such as "John Doe's latest project is x. You may recall him from y and z."
posted by pmurray63 at 4:59 AM on January 20, 2010


Don't forget Limbo and Sunshine State
He also did Return of the Secaucus 7


And Men With Guns, and (my personal favorites) Eight Men Out and Lone Star.

I'm a huge Sayles fan, but I believe he lost his shit a little during the George W. Bush Administration. Silver City (2004) was the worst of his movies I remember seeing (and yes, I'm counting Piranha and Alligator). For the first time, he traded thoughtful characterization for polemics (the Bush-inspired character was named "Pilager," the Rove clone "Raven"), and the whole thing suffered for it.

It's too bad, because Silver City had all the Sayles hallmarks -- sympathy for the working class, the exploitation of both mankind and nature -- it just couldn't rise above his utter contempt for Bush. Hopefully Banyo marks a return to form.

And add my voice to the chorus of those requesting that the poster establish the subject's breathing status straightaway. I was about to call in sick to work and get a memorial Sayles-a-thon going.
posted by total warfare frown at 5:29 AM on January 20, 2010


I also thought this was an obit post. I'm glad that it's about a new project of Sayles's, instead. Should be interesting; plus, the blog looks good.
posted by k8lin at 6:39 AM on January 20, 2010


i hope he consults with david silbey :P
It has been termed an insurgency, a revolution, a guerrilla war, and a conventional war. As David J. Silbey demonstrates in this taut, compelling history, the 1899 Philippine-American War was in fact all of these. Played out over three distinct conflicts—one fought between the Spanish and the allied United States and Filipino forces; one fought between the United States and the Philippine Army of Liberation; and one fought between occupying American troops and an insurgent alliance of often divided Filipinos—the war marked America’s first steps as a global power and produced a wealth of lessons learned and forgotten. First-rate military history, A War of Frontier and Empire retells an often forgotten chapter in America’s past, infusing it with commanding contemporary relevance.
cheers!
posted by kliuless at 6:42 AM on January 20, 2010


And I agree with total warfare frown -- Sayles did indeed lose his shit a bit in the last eight or nine years. I'm interested to see this new film in the hopes that it's a bit better than his last few.
posted by k8lin at 6:42 AM on January 20, 2010


I look forward to more of Sayles' trademark realistic dialogue and subtle use of metaphor...
posted by TSOL at 7:26 AM on January 20, 2010


Sorry for freaking everyone out! Sayles appears to be alive and well, and (I noticed when gathering these links), never giving more than one raised corner of his mouth in any photo. The guy won't smile in public!

(I think Silver City was intended to be a slap-dash thing thrown together as quickly as possible for zero money to make a point. So I forgive that one. However, I didn't like Limbo, Casa de los Babys or even Sunshine State all that much either. But since this is the guy who made Matewan, Brother From Another Planet, Lone Star, Passion Fish AND Roan Inish, some of the Best Movies Ever, I'm definitely willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on his future projects.)
posted by serazin at 7:32 AM on January 20, 2010


Holy Christ don't DO that to us.
posted by scrump at 8:10 AM on January 20, 2010


no love for The Brother From Another Planet, huh?
posted by shmegegge at 8:28 AM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


The beginnings of the Phillipine-American War?

“You may fire when you are ready, Gridley.”
posted by Ironmouth at 8:36 AM on January 20, 2010


snaps for Matewan from the girl from Coal Country. My grandfather used to take me down to explore Thurmond (on the New River, where much of Matewan was filmed) all the time when I was little.
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:44 AM on January 20, 2010


Give Sunshine State another chance serazin...it's terribly flat character-wise, but a majestic and careful allegory for capitalism. The golf guys give speeches that even David Simon would envy.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:04 AM on January 20, 2010


Another shout out here for John Sayles, my personal favorite director, and much relief this isn't an obit thread. I guess we're all doomed to feel our hearts stop when we begin this FPP -- at least it has a happy ending.
posted by bearwife at 9:07 AM on January 20, 2010


Yeah, I've been wanting to re-watch Sunshine State. I think I'd like it better if I hadn't been comparing it to Lone Star the whole time. I still haven't seen Honeydripper and I guess I've been putting it off because it seems to have been another less than successful effort. Still, some of his early movies were weak (in my book) too - Leanna bored the hell out of me and I've got to have been the target audience - so I just chalk it up to some unevenness. Not every movie can be a masterpiece, right? I have high hopes for this next one though. It's been in the works for so long.
posted by serazin at 9:23 AM on January 20, 2010


man, lone star snuck up on my ass. I just thought it was some mccaughnagheygh vehicle when I first noticed it. I was working in a blockbuster at the time, and it was one of the few that had a decent independent/foreign section back then, so I spent much of my allotted free rentals boning up on those movies. My boss hipped me to the fact that John Sayles was the shit, so I rented Brother From Another Planet and Lone Star. And I recall watching Lone Star and thinking this movie didn't seem to be going anywhere, except that when I went to sleep that night all I could think about were those people and their lives and where they'd been and where they might have gone after the movie was over.

The man is a subtle genius. His movies sneak into your brain and plant little people in there that open your worldview.
posted by shmegegge at 10:12 AM on January 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


The man is a subtle genius. His movies sneak into your brain and plant little people in there that open your worldview.

He is indeed. He is one of my favorite directors, and Lone Star is one of my favorite movies (I have seen it a gazillion times, and I never get tired of it). He has such a sly way with words and story lines, and his characters are real enough to be real people, but also so, so interesting.

I am another one with "NOOOO!!!!" going through my head until I realized this wasn't an obitfilter post.
posted by biscotti at 10:24 AM on January 20, 2010


Sayles and Coakley both on the blue. What a day.

Yep, both Williams alums.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:16 PM on January 20, 2010


The Phillippine-American war was my Great-Grandfather's war as an insurgent. Grandpa fought the Japanese and enlisted w/ the Americans. Dad moved here in the 60s, and I was born in Brooklyn.

American occupiers waterboarding the local resistance goes back to this war. Then there's the Balangiga Massacre*, which led to Gen. Jacob Smith's infamous orders:
"I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn; the more you kill and burn, the better it will please me... The interior of Samar must be made a howling wilderness..."
Iraq is Vietnam all over again, it's The Philippines.

* If your country was under attack and occupied by armed foreigners, you would kill them in their beds and call it justice. George Washington attacked a butt-load of hungover German mercenaries on Christmas morning and we call him the father of our country.

Send the Bells back. It's disgraceful that they were taken as war trophies, and they commemorate nothing that America or our military should consider particularly honorable.

posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:40 AM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Interesting links PBZM, I think these are the issues that led Sayles to make this movie - that the US 'intervention' in the Philippines was a precurser to Vietnam and of course Iraq, and yet no one in the US talks about what our government did there.
posted by serazin at 9:57 AM on January 21, 2010


ACK! Iraq isn't Vietnam all over again...

Oh, for the 3-minute edit pony. ;-)

posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:32 AM on January 21, 2010


Iraq isn't Vietnam all over again, it's The Philippines

yea, silbey made that connection too :P

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 6:41 PM on January 21, 2010


« Older Open Earth   |   NBC美國深夜脫口秀大風吹!!! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post