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Off-site: Matewan  /  City of Hope

City of Hope
February 17, 2020 - 7:30 pm
In-person: 
John Sayles.

Please note: this screening takes place at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403.

L.A. Premiere of New Restoration! 

Matewan  (1987)

Based on a true incident in the impoverished but coal-rich hills of West Virginia in the 1920s, writer-director John Sayles’ masterpiece is an unforgettable portrait of a community struggling to assert itself under the crushing dominance of capitalist greed. Chris Cooper (Adaptation) turns in his finest performance as labor organizer Joe Kenehan, with tremendous support from a cast that includes James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell, David Strathairn and Sayles himself. The cinematography by Haskell Wexler (Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and winner of the 1992 ASC Lifetime Achievement Award) perfectly captures the haunted, bone-weary desperation of the miners and their families. 

DCP, color, 132 min. Director/screenwriter: John Sayles. Cast: Joe Kenehan, Mary McDonnell, Will Oldham, David Straithairn, Ken Jenkins.

City of Hope  (1991)

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.

35mm, color, 130 min. Director/screenwriter: John Sayles. Cast: Vincent Spano, Tony Lo Bianco, Joe Morton, Jace Alexander, Todd Graff.