view from the hill

A look at the elements and events that come into view from where I'm standing...
... the stuff that matters in this life. Some flicker and are gone in a matter of hours
only to live in memory, others become life long travelling companions, never far from reach.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Silver City

silvercitySaw John Sayles' latest, Silver City this weekend. It's a skewering of George W and the cronies and dirty dealings that shoved him into public office. Chris Cooper plays a dim-wit gubernatorial candidate who's a complete tool of big business and his father's interests. Richard Dreyfuss is in the Carl Rove roll, winning at any cost. The movie covers everything from environmental degradation, to illegal immigration, dirty politics, and the flaccid media. It's good stuff, all woven together to paint a realistic picture of the current state of the good ol' US of A.

Sayles wanted to get this out in a hurry before the last US election. It's only just now reaching England almost a year later, so it's a bit odd seeing this story after the damage has been done.

John Sayles is no Michael Moore. He's so independent, and so far under the radar that his films are more like private paintings than anything designed to steer public opinion. He's been making truly independent movies for years, writing, directing and editing all his films. He's not the greatest filmmaker out there, but I have a soft spot for Sayles. His actors may sound a little wooden at times, his production values are never all that high. But his talents lie in weaving together ensemble casts to tell complex stories. There's no one else doing what he's doing.

I allow him his faults because I admire what he aspires to, and what he represents for independent cinema.


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