May-Alice Culhane was a successful soap opera star, but a car accident has left her bound to a wheelchair. She returns to her now-empty family home in the bayous of Louisiana which she had ... See full summary »
City of Hope is a portrait of a typical middle-sized American city of the present day. The crux of the story is an old apartment block which stands in the way of a major commercial ... See full summary »
Tony Lo Bianco,
Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.
1950. Rural Alabama. Cotton harvest. It's a make-or-break weekend for the Honeydripper Lounge and its owner, piano player Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. Deep in debt to the liquor man, the ... See full summary »
Humberto Fuentes is a wealthy doctor whose wife has recently died. In spite of the advice of his children, he takes a trip to visit his former students who now work in impoverished villages... See full summary »
Dan Rivera González
In an economically devastated Alaskan town, a fisherman with a troublesome past dates a woman whose young daughter does not approve of him. When he witnesses the murder of his shady brother, he, the woman and the kid run to the wilderness.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
Set against the backdrop of a mythic "New West," a satire that follows grammatically-challenged, "user-friendly" candidate Dicky Pilager, scapegrace scion of Colorado's venerable Senator Jud Pilager, during his gubernatorial campaign. When Pilager finds that he's reeled in a corpse during the taping of an environmental political ad, his ferocious campaign manager, Chuck Raven, hires former idealistic journalist turned rumpled private detective Danny O'Brien to investigate potential links between the corpse and the Pilager family's enemies. Danny's investigation pulls him deeper and deeper into a complex web of influence and corruption, involving high stakes lobbyists, media conglomerates, environmental plunderers, and undocumented migrant workers. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
What film depicts corrupt politicians and businessmen controlling a vast local resource but enduring a sometimes-hapless yet attractive detective investigating a murder involving those community leaders? If you said 'Chinatown,' you'd be correct; if you said 'Silver City,' you'd also be correct. There are other similarities such as both have stars with last names Huston, and justice is long coming. Beyond that, there is no qualitative similarity: Roman Polanski's 'Chinatown' is a classic; John Sayles' 'Silver City' is a contemporary curiosity.
'Contemporary' because the liberal Sayles writes and directs about a political campaign for the governorship of Colorado that barely disguises its protagonists as George Bush (Chris Cooper) and Karl Rove (Richard Dreyfuss) knockoffs. Cooper's candidate has halting, incomplete, and scripted sentences, undoubtedly the speech patterns of Bush. The manipulative and effective machinations of Dreyfuss's operative are patently those of the infamous Bush campaign mastermind.
The story and dialogue are undistinguished, as if they count on the audience to be mesmerized by the broad parallels to the 2004 campaign. (See 'Primary Colors' for wit and grit about the Clinton campaign, starring John Travolta.) Although Danny Huston (son of John and brother of Angelica) is a lesser Jack Nicholson, his easy-going persona works well for a detective who constantly gets himself into trouble rather than his clients out of it.
The comparison to Michael Moore's documentary 'Fahrenheit 911' is inevitable. The heavy-handedness of 'Silver' makes Moore's work look almost subtle, yet Sayles must be praised for his dissenting voice in parlous times for free speech. Sayles is more successful in weaving the intricate patterns of corruption in 'City of Hope'; here he seems more like Moore in an overt attempt to topple a sitting president. Sayles's 'Lone Star' is more believable, and that's about incest.
John, Viscount Morley in 'Rousseau' wrote, 'Those who would treat politics and morality apart will never understand the one or the other.'
These filmmakers understand both in varying degrees of success.
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