Lone Star

JOHN SAYLES INVITES YOU TO RETURN TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME.

When a body is found in the Texas desert, sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) opens a 40-year-old murder case; the remains belong to Charlie Wade (Kris Kristofferson), a feared lawman who one day went missing. Director John Sayles’s most critically acclaimed film of the 1990s is a longish but very interesting and well-acted drama that moves between two periods of time. We follow Deeds as he tries to find his role in the shadow of his father who actually could have killed Wade 40 years ago; we also travel back in time and see Wade, this racist bully, exercise his bad influence on the community. The story has many other characters that paint a wider portrait of the conflict-ridden town.

1996-U.S. 134 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by R. Paul Miller, Maggie Renzi. Written and directed by John Sayles. Cast: Kris Kristofferson (Charlie Wade), Chris Cooper (Sam Deeds), Elizabeth Peña (Pilar Cruz), Joe Morton, Ron Canada, Miriam Colon… Matthew McConaughey, Frances McDormand.

Last word: “Like ‘City of Hope’, we used a lot of master shots to tell the story. Both films take place over three or four days, but ‘Lone Star’ is so much more about history. I used theatrical transitions so that there would be this feeling [that] there wasn’t a big seam between the past and the present. Orson Welles did things like that every once in a while. Basically, you get a background for your tight shot from 1996, you pan away, and when you pan back to where the guy telling the story was, it’s somebody completely different, and it’s 1957. There’s not a cut or a dissolve. I wanted to reinforce the feeling that what’s going on now is totally connected to the past. It’s almost not like a memory – you don’t hear the harp playing. It’s there.” (Sayles, Filmmaker Magazine)

 

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