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John Sayles

by Thom Bennett

What do you get when you take what is probably the greatest baseball film ever made ("Eight Men Out"), a magical Irish fairytale ("The Secret of Roan Inish"), a strange science fiction film about a mute, black alien who lands in Harlem ("The Brother from Another Planet") and one of the best mystery/suspense films in recent years ("Lone Star")? You get just some picture of what makes John Sayles one of the finest filmmakers in the world today.

John Sayles never met a genre that he didn't like or, for that matter, was afraid to tackle. You never know what he is going to decide to do next, yet you can be assured that whatever it is, it will probably be great. Like many of his contemporaries, Sayles started out as part of Roger Corman's B-movie factory, writing such classics as "Piranha" (1978), "The Lady in Red" (1979), and "Battle Beyond the Stars" (1980).

In 1980 Sayles' first directorial effort "Return of the Secaucus 7" earned the Best Screenplay award from the Los Angeles Film Critics, as well as an Oscar nomination for original screenplay. From then on, Sayles has established himself as one of the premier American filmmakers and chroniclers of American life. His quietly ambitious films and very human stories manage to reach his audience on a level that few filmmakers can even aspire to.

John Sayles other films include "Baby, It's You" (1983), "Matewan" (1987), "City of Hope" (1991), "Passion Fish" (1992), and "Men With Guns" (1998). His newest film "Limbo" is appearing at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

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