Nominated for both an Academy Award for scriptwriting and a
National Book Award, John Sayles has written screenplays,
teleplays, short stories, and novels and has worked as a script
doctor for a virtual who's who of Hollywood film and television
talent. He has acted in films and on stage and even directed a
music video for Bruce Springsteen.
In making movies, Sayles has handled subjects as diverse as
seventies activists in "The Return of the Secaucus Seven" (1980); a
1920s Appalachian miners' strike in "Matewan" (1987); the 1919
Black Sox scandal in "Eight Men Out" (1988); the Selkies of Ireland
in "The Secret of Roan Inish" (1994); and Latin American guerilla
warfare in "Men with Guns" (1997).
Conducted over a period of twenty years, these interviews span
Sayles's career as a writer, director, and sometimes actor. Whether
he is interviewed in "The Progressive," "Film Comment," "Sight and
Sound," or Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone Magazine," Sayles is
always direct and candid. In each conversation, he cuts to the core
of the film business and to the meat of what he is trying to
accomplish as an artist.
Known for his fiercely independent vision, his authentic
characters, and his provocative observations on the human
condition, Sayles demonstrates in these interviews what an
endurably original director and artist he is. As he tells "Sight
and Sound," "First of all, I'm not afraid of failure. I don't get
upset if people don't like it. I'm doing it because I'm interested.
. . "Return of the Secaucus Seven"] was the start, because even if
I hadn't got it released, at least I've made a movie I wanted to
Diane Carson is Professor of Film Studies at St. Louis Community
College at Meramec and Adjunct Professor of Film at Webster
University, both in St. Louis, Missouri. A film critic for
"Riverfront Times" and KDHX in St. Louis, she is also the editor of
"Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism."
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