John Thomas Sayles (born September 28, 1950) is an American independent film director and screenwriter who frequently plays small roles in his own and other indie films.
Sayles was born in Schenectady, New York, the son of Mary (née Rausch), a teacher, and Donald John Sayles, a school administrator. He was raised Catholic and took to labeling himself “a Catholic atheist”. Both of Sayles’ parents were of half Irish descent.
He attended Williams College, where a small incident provided an inkling as to his future career. In 1972, while participating in the school’s biannual trivia contest, Sayles’ team was tied with another after eight hours, forcing the game’s first sudden death overtime. Sayles was able to cite a particular line of dialogue from the 1960 film The Time Machine, thus clinching that semester’s championship.
Like Martin Scorsese and James Cameron, among others, Sayles got his start in film working with Roger Corman. Sayles went on to fund his first… read more
John Sayles is known as a writer and director. In the early 1980's he co-wrote a script with Susan Rice from three Grace Paley short stories which was titled Enormous Changes at the Last Minute (from Ms Paley's story collection title). The three New York stories were directed by young women directors who came from documentary backgrounds at a time before "indie" had the studio cred it later basked in. The directors were Mirra Bank, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer. There is no page for it on MUBI currently, but it deserves one as a showcase of American independent cinema before Sundance and the Hollywood connection. And yes, as a credit for John Sayles.