Lianna + Baby It's You (with John Sayles in person!)

Double feature!!

35mm Restored Print Courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Co-presented by Outfest
All of the struggles in Sayles’ films are familiar, human, yet also unique to the time, place, and position the characters find themselves in. Lianna finds herself in quite a difficult time, struggling with her out-of-place sexuality in the midst of a society that isn’t ready to fully accept her. The controlled downfall of Lianna’s marriage shows the subtle writing touch that Sayles made a career of. Here, heady intellectual conversations counterbalance the sensuality of discovered feeling. At first glance, Lianna is a pioneering dissection of LGBT issues—but it’s also a carefully measured portrait of a person, deftly drawn.

Dir John Sayles, 1983, 35mm, 110 min.

Baby It’s You
John Sayles just can’t help himself. Even in the proto-typical story of good-girl-dates-bad-boy, Sayles finds brilliant ways to foreground class in the narrative. When a Sinatra-loving delinquent (Vincent Spano) falls for Jill Rosen, an upper-middle-class girl (beautifully rendered by Rosanna Arquette), there are certain paths that can’t be escaped. He’s gonna sleep around, she’s gonna go to a good college, this is just who they are. Sayles beautifully weaves a classic tale of unimpeachable difference, turning each scene back on the last, right through the finale, never losing sight of the everyday effects of social status. Imparting unexpected depth to a familiar story, his unique voice as a visual stylist and as a writer loses none of its luster in his first studio-funded effort.

Dir John Sayles, 1983, digital presentation, 105 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!