As part of Independent Film Week (Sept. 16-20), David Shumway, professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, will discuss the works of legendary independent filmmaker John Sayles at Peters Township Public Library on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m.
By showing film clips and reading excerpts from his recently published book, John Sayles, Shumway will provide an overview of the director's career, followed by a question and discussion period.
"Like Classic Era directors such as Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock, John Sayles is a great storyteller," said Shumway, a professor of English within the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and director of the Humanities Center.
"But unlike their films, he also asks us to think critically about the world in which we live," he said. "He has been able to make such films because he has not had to depend on entertainment conglomerates to finance them, and thus has retained artistic control of his work.
"His films teach us about historical events we are unlikely to know much about—such as Baseball's Black Sox scandal, the Stone Mountain Coal War or the Philippine-American War—but they also, like a good teacher, raise questions about assumptions viewers are likely hold before seeing them."
John Sayles was published by the University of Illinois Press as a volume in the Contemporary Film Director Series. Copies will be available for purchase at the special book-signing price of $15 each.
Shumway's many books include Modern Love: Romance, Intimacy, and the Marriage Crisis. He has recently received a Fulbright award to lecture in Barcelona in the spring of 2013.
A book signing following the reception at PTPL will begin at 8 p.m.
If participants would like to view one or more of Sayles’ films prior to the event, especially Return of the Secaucus Seven, Matewan and Lone Star, the library has the DVDs of these films in their collection available for a two-day loan.