Thursday, January 28, 2010

John Sayles on Matewan

Screenwriter (and director) John Sayles talks about his movie MATEWAN in this clip...

Sayles is one of my favorite writers. I discovered him through PIRANHA and THE HOWLING and many other fine films that seem to be horror movies but are actually much more. I tracked down his short stories and first novel, PRIDE OF THE BIMBOS, and loved BIMBOS so much that I bought up a bunch of paperback copies decades ago and gave them to friends. The novel is about a boy with divorced parents who lives with his father for one summer and learns what it means to be a man - typical coming of age story... except the kid's father plays on an exhibition baseball team kind of like the Harlem Globetrotters (which is basketball, I know) who play in drag. So, this boy learns about being a man by hanging around men dressed as women.

Since then I've bought all of Sayles novels and short story collections and seen all of his movies. One of the things I like about him is that he comes from blue collar roots and his films and stories are full of working people. That ends up making him kind of a Leftie, because he's all for worker's rights and unions... which is what MATEWAN was all about.

- Bill


Emily Blake said...

Whoa that brings back memories. My mom is a social studies teacher who always showed Matewan to teach socioeconomic development type stuff.

Every year she would talk about that movie for a week or so, but I think I only ever watched it once.

Grant said...

This is currently making the Encore rounds for anyone who hasn't seen it. I believe it's even on OnDemand.

Big John Sayles fan. I'm just amazed at how consistently good he is. All my other favorite writers and directors have a few stinkers on their lists. But not him. Rock-freaking-solid list of movies.

Might also be the only filmmaker to win a MacArthur Genius Grant... And used the proceeds to make a fine movie.

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