The Brother From Another Planet (w/ John Sayles in person!) + Piranha (Introduced by Roger Corman!)

Hosted by Louis Black!

Q&A Moderated by Leonard Maltin! Cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson in person!

The Brother From Another Planet

35mm Restored Print Courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Written, directed, and edited by John Sayles (who actually wrote an early draft of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, an unlikely companion piece to the film) and starring Joe Morton (City of Hope, Lonestar) The Brother From Another Planet is mash-up of fish-out-of-water humor and salient commentary on the black experience in 1980s Harlem. The film follows “The Brother,” an alien who blends in with the residence of his adopted home—except for his feet and inability to speak. Through his perspective, we see the absurdity of earth’s social dynamics and how “white folks get stranger all the time.” With special jury recognition and a nomination for the grand jury prize at the 1985 USA Film Festival (aka Sundance), The Brother From Another Planet is a fresh and original science fiction movie with cameos by soon-to-be Sayles regular David Strathairn (Eight Men Out, Matewan) and the director himself, as the white aliens in pursuit—“the men in black.” An absolute staple of black cinema, Sayles’ Brother remains a relevant, deft blend of wit, slapstick, and racial politics in 1980s America.

Dir John Sayles, 1984, 35mm, 108 min.

Piranha Introduced by Roger Corman!

In the bloody, movie biz-altering, blockbuster wake of Jaws, an ocean of cheapo sea-creature features rushed in to chomp out their share of the ferocious fishploitation market. The very best of these was Corman’s 1978 jam Piranha, directed by up-and-comer Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins, The ‘Burbs), and written by master scribe Sayles, who balanced an “indie darling” filmmaking career with Corman flicks like Alligator and Battle Beyond the Stars. Starring Keenan Wynn, Kevin McCarthy, Barbara Steele and Dante stalwart Dick Miller, the plot finds weaponized piranha bred by the military set loose on a resort water park, resulting in some major teeth-chomping bloodshed. Dante’s love of 50′s sci-fi/horror and playful sense of mayhem make the film a rare delight — a knockoff that’s just as fun as the original, with fledgling SFX guru Rob Bottin’s puppet fish as a wonder to behold.

Dir Joe Dante, 1978, 35mm, 94 min.

Watch the trailer for The Brother From Another Planet!

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer for Piranha!