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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Sayles force: John's a Honeydripper

It’s Alabama authenticity for the new John Sayles-Maggie Renzi production, writes Birmingham News’ Bob Carlton: “They film their pictures where they take place, and to give them more authenticity, they hire as many local actors as they can. Sayles and Renzi are in Alabama scouting locations… SAYLES1.JPGand doing other pre-production work for their next movie, Honeydripper, which they will start filming in and around Greenville in October.” Before accepting an indie lifetime achievement award on Friday at Birmingham’s Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, Sayles told Carlton, “It is very hard for people to continue to be an independent filmmaker… It’s very hard to raise money and very hard to get your movie seen… So more and more, that world is for people who are making their first or second movie – usually on video, sometimes with their mother’s credit card. But to survive and continue to make movies without getting accepted in Hollywood and getting that kind of money is pretty rare.” Of his 27 years with Renzi, Sayles said, “If you want to be a filmmaker… find a good producer and treat her right.” The Honeydripper takes place in a small, cotton-producing community in the 1950s, just before the outbreak of the Korean War,” Carlton writes, with the title refeering “to a struggling roadhouse owned by an aging piano player played by Danny Glover.” Glover’s character hires a young musician with an electric guitar he made himself. “It’s set right in 1950, when Ike Turner and Chuck Berry and those guys were starting to discover the electric guitar,” Sayles says. “That instrument, which had been in the background, is about to take over.” [More at the link.]

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