(/c [m I)’(l/>_\'.\. is his sccond in thc Spanish-languagc. lt conccrns six Amcrican womcn who traycl to South Amcrica to adopt hahics and cnd tip hcing t‘orccd by law to liyc thcrc. Saylcs has managcd to raisc Slm to lilm it. hut cycn that rclatiycly small sum didn‘t comc casy. And thcn thcrc’s Sumo 'Ii'mc in the Sun. Saylcs‘ long—chcrishcd. possihly ncycr-to-hc-madc liltn ahout thc littlc- known l’hilippinc insurrcction of l‘)()(). ‘lt was Amcrica's lirst \‘ictnam a l‘ottr-ycar nasty gucrrilla war.‘ hc says. ‘lt‘s a hig political story and I‘d low to makc it.‘
.\'ot that such ohstaclcs pttt ol'l' Amcrica’s grcatcst liying indcpcndcnt lilmmakcr. thn littropc‘s l‘ilm linancicrs turn up thcir noscs and Hollywood rcl‘uscs to play hall. Saylcs mcrcly takcs thc lattcr’s moncy ottt ol thc hack door. Asidc ll‘ottt hcing .'\tnct‘ica’s grcatcst liying indcpcndcnt lilmmakcr. Saylcs. thc writcr. is also tlic man Holl)wood turns to whcn it's in trouhlc. ‘l continuc to hc a scrccnwritcr l'or hirc. which is how I makc my liying.‘ hc says.
llc is rcwriting a ncw \‘c‘l‘slntt ol' 771v Ala/m; for Ron Howard. for whom hc also rcscucd Apollo [3’ from hccoming a grcatcr disastcr than thc original ahortiyc spacc mission. 'l’hcrc arc othcr hig lilms that hayc hcnclitcd from his rc—writcs. hut hc didn't hothcr to ask for a crcdit hack thcn and docsn‘t carc to namc thcm now. llc's hccn writing scrccnplays lor Holly wood at thc ratc of two or thrcc a ycar. and has hangcd ottl a stack of 50 to datc. l() or so of which hayc hccn madc (including [frat/ring In for Bill l-‘orsyth and ll'i/z/ Thing for Jonathan Dcmmc).
So. Say lcs splits his titnc hctwccn writing for Hollywood and dc\cloping his own projccts. 'l‘his sccmingly incxltaustihlc man has also lound timc to writc thrcc noycls. thc acclaimcd tclcyision show Shannon's /)ml and producc othcr pcoplc's tilms. such as thc indic hit (ii/'[ﬁg/n ~ and lct‘s not cycn gct startcd on Saylcs‘ camco appcaranccs in front of thc camcra. Hc takcs Hollywood‘s moncy and makcs his own lilms. So. in a roundahout way. Hollywood docs fund Saylcs‘ lilms. It just isn't awarc it’s doing it.
M John Saylcs ~ thc liilmmakcr who commits himscll to causcs. thc man who took on Hollywood and won - sounds all \cry scrious and far too worthy. think again. His tilmmaking carccr hcgan in 1977. whcn hc dumpcd a succcssion of hlttc collar johs l’ollowing thc puhlication ol his lirst noycl. l’ri'dt’ of l/I(’ Him/ms. and hcadcd wcst towards tltc l‘rontict‘ ()K. Holly wood to work l‘or B-moyic mogul Rogcr (‘orman By thc timc hc had complctcd and rclcascd .S‘m'uumx 7 thrcc ycars latcr. hc'd also writtcn a string of smart gcnrc moyics l'or (‘orman's c\ploitation lilm l'actory: l’imn/tu. Bull/v Baum! [/1(’ Stars (at scicncc liction rcmakc ol' 'l'ln' .lIug/Ii/it'mt Svrm). 'l'lzc [low/ng and .rl/Iig'umr.
Although hc’s moycd on. Saylcs can't l‘orgct his roots in thc 'crcaturc l‘caturcs‘. l rcmind him of somcthing hc oncc said: 'I likc to gct thc hugs out.’ Hc laughs. lialt-rcmcmhcring. a littlc cmharrasscd. "l‘hc last ﬁlm I got to gct thc hugs out in was .llmi/‘i'.’ hc say s. rcl‘crring to thc l‘)‘)7 giant cockroach chillcr. ‘I had a lot ol inn with that. l-‘or somc rcason l kncw a lot ahout cockroachcs.~ Ali-huh. 'l‘hcn thcrc‘s Brut/1N 'li'rmm'. Saylcs dcscrihcs this as. 'a nicc moyic ahout hulh-hcadcd alicns in thc \Vhitc llottsc'. .-\pparcntly .lamcs (‘amcron is going to dircct llroI/u'r ‘li'rmili'. as soon as hc's ‘inycntcd thc tcchnology‘ to makc it.
Clockwise: Edie Falco and Mary Steenburgen in Sunshine State; John Sayles; Bill Cobbs in State; Apollo 13; Sayles again on location in Florida; Girlfight; Mimic
So. hcrc‘s \ct anothcr sidc to Saylcs: . indcpcndcnt lilmmakcr. Hollywood script doctor and. originally.ct'caturc l’caturc writcr.
.'\s I pack up and shakc onc ol‘ Saylcs’
shmcls. l mcntion l'm ol‘l‘ hack to lidinhurgh
and hc lights up. llc lc‘lls mc mg lilm hc’ll makc Sayles
al‘tcr ('usu (Iv 1.0.x Ila/tins. is callcd .lumiv
.llmtii/lirruy‘. ’Rohcrt (‘arlylc callcd mc up with
an idca ahout a gtty who‘s dcl’catcd in thc Battlc ot‘ (‘ullodon and cnds up in thc .\'cw World dcaling with \atiyc Amcricans.‘ .lust thc kind ol tall talc that would appcal to thc champion ol‘ thc tllttlcl‘tlogs. Sunshine State plays GFT, Glasgow and Cameo, Edinburgh from Fri 26 Jul. See review, page 36.
Wk. : .‘ .‘ THE L|ST 15