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The Brother From Another Planet  /  Baby It's You

Baby It's You
February 15, 2020 - 7:30 pm
Q&A with filmmaker John Sayles, actor Vincent Spano, moderated by Josh Olson. Sayles will sign copies of his novel Yellow Earth before the screening.

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.