CITY OF HOPE
1991, Sony Repertory, 129 min, USA, Dir: John Sayles

Director John Sayles demonstrates both his talent for characterization and his insightful approach to social issues with this ambitious ensemble piece. Vincent Spano plays the son of a contractor involved in a bitter property dispute that threatens to tear apart the New Jersey city where he lives, while Joe Morton plays an idealistic city councilman struggling to build a constituency. Their stories extend into the lives of dozens of supporting characters across race and class lines, all of whom are fully developed and painfully real. A thoughtful and moving portrait of early 1990s American life that is unfortunately even more relevant today in its vision of urban corruption and political maneuvering.


LONE STAR
1996, Warner Bros., 135 min, USA, Dir: John Sayles

Chris Cooper plays an easygoing Texas sheriff who discovers unpleasant truths about his town and his own past in this intricately plotted murder mystery. Displaying his usual talent for ensemble characterization, director John Sayles follows nearly a dozen major players (Kris Kristofferson, Frances McDormand and Matthew McConaughey are among the film's many talented actors) as their stories intersect and raise questions about political corruption, multiculturalism, and other contemporary issues.


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