John Sayles maintains his independence and his loyalties

By Laurie Bennett

December 29, 2010 at 10:35am

Filmmaker John Sayles believes in long-term relationships - working and otherwise.

He and his life partner, Maggie Renzi, have collaborated on some 20 movies, most recently Amigo, starring Chris Cooper.

Cooper is a longtime denizen of the Sayles universe, having appeared in four other films directed by Sayles and produced by Renzi.

Other stalwarts are actors David Strathairn and Gordon Clapp, who appeared with Renzi in one of Sayles’ earliest projects - the 1978 movie, Return of the Secaucus Seven.

Sayles is a rare breed in the business, a 60-year-old maker of independent films and a 1973 winner of the MacArthur Foundation genius grant.

“I’m an ex-genius now,” he told film critic Roger Ebert in 2008. “It only lasts five years, and then your IQ drops rapidly.”

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