Interview with filmmaker John Sayles

Writer and director, John Sayles, says a film should be a conversation with the broader community. For twenty years Sayles has been doing just that with his films, beginning in 1978 with “The Return of the Secaucus Seven” to this year’s “Limbo.”

Arguably America’s most distinguished independent filmmaker, Sayles has put independent film on the map. His films often deal with political themes. The 1983 ground-breaking film, “Lianna,” is about a woman who leaves her husband for another woman. At the height of the neoconservative takeover of the American political agenda in the mid-80’s, Sayles released “Matewan,” a period piece on the struggles of West Virginia cole miners to unionize in the 1920’s.

Sayles is also a risk-taker when it comes to his career. After the commercial success of “Lone Star,” which earned him several Oscar nominations, Sayles returned to the screen with “Men with Guns,” a Spanish film with English subtitles.

His current film, “Limbo,” is set in Alaska and charts the course of a number of characters who have found their lives to be in a state of limbo — hence the title. But “Limbo” is also a film about what happens when people take risks, about the dangers and the rewards. The film centers on the relationship between a local resident, who as a youth was a promising basketball star, and a down-on-her-luck touring country singer. “Limbo” also focuses on the singer’s alienated teenage daughter, Noelle, who engages in self-harm, specifically in cutting herself.

Listen to John Sayles talk about Noelle, and why he thought it was important to write this behavior into her character.

Click to hear the Interview!

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