John Sayles' AMIGO and A Moment in the Sun out at last.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Take a look at the review of A Moment in the Sun in Publisher's Weekly!

 A Moment in the Sun

Though known best as a filmmaker (Eight Men Out), Sayles is also an accomplished novelist (Union Dues), whose latest will stand among the finest work on his impressive résumé. Weighing in at nearly 1,000 pages, the behemoth recalls E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime, Pynchon's Against the Day, and Dos Passos's USA trilogy, tracking mostly unconnected characters whose collective stories create a vast, kaleidoscopic panorama of the turn of the last century. Hod Brackenridge is a miner who gets swindled in the Alaskan gold rush, is strong-armed into a boxing match, and ends up on the run after his opponent dies in the ring. Diosdado, son of a Spanish diplomat, turns against his country and the United States to fight for independence in the Philippines. The most emotionally connected story line involves the black American soldiers who breeze through fighting in Cuba but get stuck in a quagmire in the Philippines while their families back home in Wilmington, N.C., endure a campaign of murder and intimidation that forces an affluent and educated black family out of their home and into poverty in New York City. Naturally, there are cameos--Mark Twain, president McKinley--and period details aplenty that help alleviate the occasional slow patches--indeed, Hod's story line loses steam toward the end--but the flaws and muck of this big, rangy novel are part of what make it so wonderful. (May)

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Long and Winding Road: Adelaide

That's right. From Manila we flew via Kuala Lumpur (love Malaysia Air and their fabulous Business Class Lounge there) on to Melbourne. NOTHING nice to say about VirginBlu which stranded us in Melbourne for 8 hours before we could get on their next flight to Adelaide.
Many thanks to the Adelaide/Big Pond Film Festival whose generosity brought us to Manila for Lakbay Amigo, and then on to their wonderful film festival.
Because John Sayles needs to run and swim, we stayed out in Glenelg at Oaks Plaza Pier. You can imagine how happy we were to get there.


Flavor of Bacolod

This is a place we'll go back to. John is fascinated by the history of Sugar here, a history that recalls the American South, and even William Faulkner.

Could we make a movie here? There are certainly plenty of nice hotels. Picture us by the pool of L'Fisher, one of our AMIGO sponsors.

And any crew would be happy to stay in a town with such good food. Here is an (incomplete) list of the places where we ate:
Bar 21
Palapala 18th St
Bob's Big Boy
Cafe Ideal
When we get home, it's bread and water- no bread!

Back to Lakbay Amigo

I left you in Bacolod where we were buying sweets.
At each stop on the tour we worked with local sponsors. In Bacolod our sponsors were De La Salle Batch '78. Here I am with Feg, otherwise known as Fergus Martir, class of '78 and our Greensman on AMIGO. Look at him in his team shirt. He looks like a golfer!
So much fun to meet Mario and Joel's friends. Here is beautiful Irene with her Mama, at the premier at Robinson's, Bacolod.

Friday, March 18, 2011


You think we haven't been traveling enough? Now John and I are planning our cross-country tour to promote his new novel, A MOMENT IN THE SUN. Check out the schedule McSweeney's has made for us, and plan to catch us if we come anywhere near you.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bacolod is all about sugar

So our first purchases are at Pendy's, the Temple of Sweets. John Sayles is in heaven. Pendy's Heaven.

Bacolod- at last!

Jo Finally, towards the end of the Lakbay Amigo tour, we are in here. John and I have been hearing about Bacolod from Joel and Mario forever. We drive from the airport with Joel's brother Spanky through Silay with its beautiful old houses.
You could make a movie here. And in fact we drive by two of the houses used in ORO PLATA MATA, where young Joel Torre and Ronnie Lazaro shine. We visit the excellent Bacolod Museum and we learn a lot. Will John Sayles be inspired? Stay tuned.

Where it all started

When we tell the story of how John came to write AMIGO, we start by talking about the trip John and I made with Joel Torre through Pampanga and up the Zambales coast. John wanted an up-close look at some of the landscape that figures in the Fil-Am War sections of his novel A MOMENT IN THE SUN, and Joel kindly offered to be our guide. Joel talked to us about the local film business where ambitious movies could be made by professional crews, for a reasonable budget by our standards, and that led us to think we might be able to make a movie in the Philippines.
Jimmy was our driver and here he is with us and our host in Baguio. Thanks, Jimmy.


Baguio is a place that attracts visitors all year round. An Arts festival was beginning as we left. Here you can see boys banging on drums that accompany girls weaving the maypole. Look at the top of the pole to see how it will be covered with the braided ribbons.