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The Brother From Another Planet  /  Baby It's You

Baby It's You
February 15, 2020 - 7:30 pm
In-person: 
John Sayles.


The Brother From Another Planet  (1984)

For his fourth feature, John Sayles gave the well-worn alien sci-fi trope a revitalized yet lo-fi punch with African American actor Joe Morton starring as a mute, telepathic visitor from beyond the stars. After ditching his malfunctioning spaceship at Ellis Island, Morton's newcomer, known only as "The Brother," navigates the customs of Manhattan's residents while searching for a place to call home. From his initial refuge in a Harlem bar, he encounters a cross section of earthlings who read him—and the world—through a puzzling prism of race, class and ethnicity, a scenario Sayles taps for both brilliant comedy and social commentary.

Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preserved in collaboration with Anarchists' Convention from the original 35mm color negative, a 35mm color reversal intermediate, and the original 35mm sound track negative.

35mm, color, 110 min. Director/screenwriter: John Sayles. Cast: Joe Morton, Rosanna Carter, Ray Ramirez, Yves Rene, Peter Richardson.

Baby It's You  (1983)

John Sayles’ first and only feature film made under a studio contract, and his first adaptation of someone else’s words, Baby It’s You is set in mid-’60s America and features an anachronistic soundtrack fuelled by Springsteen bangers (who else for a tale that takes place in Jersey?), with some period-specific tunes by The Supremes and the Righteous Brothers sprinkled throughout. The story follows Sarah Lawrence-bound high school senior Jill (Rosanna Arquette) who finds her upper-middle class sensibility jostled when she’s swept into a romance with blue-collar Sinatra wannabe Albert (Vincent Spano), who boasts the innuendo-suggesting nickname “Sheik” (an early prophylactic brand). 

16mm, color, 105 min. Director/screenwriter John Sayles. Cast: Rosanna Arquette, Vincent Spano, Joanna Merlin, Jack Davidson, Nick Ferrari.