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John Sayles recalls his best-known work

We speak to the independent filmmaker about movies like ”Alligator’ and ”Matewan”

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It may seem strange that the next video credit for The Secret of Roan Inish writer-director John Sayles will be the Dolph Lundgren action flick Men of War (which he cowrote). But that’s how this independent filmmaker works: independently. Here, he recalls some of his movies.

Alligator ”We knew the limitations. I mean, the alligator can’t jump, it can’t run that fast — you’re going to have to get people in a situation where they’re stuck with the alligator, and some of that’s going to have to be funny as well as scary.”

The Brother From Another Planet ”This came from a bunch of dreams. [In one] I was writing something called A——s From Outer Space, which had people from the motor-vehicle bureau with little antennae on their heads. [In another] I was directing a movie called Bigfoot in the City. Finally I had a dream where there was this black guy wandering around Harlem who seemed lost.”

Matewan ”I thought it would be interesting, when unions were being busted left and right, to go back and look at why there were unions in the first place.”

Eight Men Out ”What I was interested in was the nature of conspiracy…especially when people get into these things and then are so ashamed of what they’re doing that they really don’t do a good job.”

City Of Hope ”Of all my movies, it probably got the best reviews, but always somewhere in the review the word grim would be used. And I just think it scared people away.”