Outtakes Online: Sayles to give free talks

Feb. 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

Director/writer John Sayles on the set of "Amigo." Photo by Mary Cybulski

Director/writer John Sayles on the set of “Amigo.” (Courtesy Mary Cybulski)

BY MIKE GORDON / mgordon@staradvertiser.com

Director and writer John Sayles, regarded as a master of independent filmmaking in America, will spend much of this month lecturing to students and giving public presentations at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Sayles is coming to UH as the 2014 Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals.

A storyteller with wide range, Sayles is best known for the films “Brother From Another Planet,” “Matewan,” “Eight Men Out,” “Passion Fish” and “Lone Star.” The last two brought him Academy Award nominations for screenwriting.

His visit includes two screenings of his well-reviewed 2010 film “Amigo,” which stars well-known Filipino actor Joel Torre as Rafael, the mayor of a remote village who is caught in the crossfire of the Philippine-American War around 1900. Rafael comes under pressure from a tough American officer (Chris Cooper) to help hunt for guerilla fighters, who are headed by the mayor’s brother.

“Through the fronds of jungle vegetation, the subtitled Tagalog and the affectionately noted Filipino customs, ‘Amigo’ invites you to contemplate other, more recently contested landscapes of counterinsurgency,” said the New York Times review by A.O. Scott.

Sayles has 35 writing credits on film and TV projects and has directed 21 projects, from films to music videos for Bruce Springsteen.

Sayles will discuss creative writing at 3 p.m. Wednesday at UH-Manoa’s Kuykendall Hall, room 412. On Thursday, a screening of “Amigo” followed by a discussion will be held at 4 p.m. at the UH-Manoa Art Auditorium. A second screening and discussion of “Amigo” will be held at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at the FilCom Center in Waipahu.

At 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at UH-Manoa’s Orvis Auditorium, Sayles will present “Stories for Survival,” a lecture on the reasons people tell stories and the importance of storytelling in our lives. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. On campus parking is $6.
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Mike Gordon covers film and television in Hawaii for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Email him at mgordon@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter. Read his weekly “Outtakes” column Sundays in the Star-Advertiser.

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