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Timeline

2014

John receives the Phylis Franklin Award for Public Advocacy of the Humanities from the Modern Language Association (MLA).

2013

GO FOR SISTERS, John’s 18th feature film, premieres at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin.  The movie is picked up by Variance Films, and opens across the US in late 2013.

John receives the 2013 Lifetime Achievement PROGIE Award from The Progressive Magazine.  He shares this honor with co-winner Robert Redford.

Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, dies at age 95.

George Zimmerman found not guilty in the the fatal shooting of 17-year-old African American student Trayvon Martin.

 US Government ends ban on women participating in ground combat.

Edward Snowden exposes the NSA’s mass-surveillance program.

US Government shuts down for 16 days due to budget disagreements in Congress.

Typhoon Haiyan and a massive earthquake destroy parts of the Philippines.

Movies: Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Despicable Me 2, Frozen, Man of Steel, Gravity, World War Z.

Fruitville Station (Ryan Coogler)

Blue Caprice (Alexandre Moors)

12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)

August: Osage County (John Wells)

Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)

The Bling Ring (Sophia Coppola)


2012

Wins prestigious LEAF Award from the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, for Lifetime Environmental Achievement in the Fine Arts.

 

Shoots 18th feature film, Go For Sisters, on location in California and Mexico in the summer of 2012.

 

Receives the Crystal Apricot Lifetime Achievement Award from the Malatya International Film Festival in Turkey.

Barack Obama becomes first sitting U.S. president to say same-sex couples should be allowed to wed.

Barack Obama re-elected to a second term as U.S. President.

Sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court upholds healthcare overhaul law.

Militants kill U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi.

Mounting death toll in Syria’s escalating civil war symbolizes the end of the Arab Spring.

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity successfully lands on the red planet.

Movies: The Avengers, The Hunger Games, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)

Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)

Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg)

Union Square (Nancy Savoca)

Queen of Versailles (Lauren Greenfield)


2011

A Moment in the Sun, his first novel in 20 years, published by McSweeney’s.

Amigo released in the Philippines and across the US.

Osama bin Laden killed by US Military, just shy of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The Arab Spring.  Moammar Gadhafi killed.

A record 9.0-magnitude quake and resulting super-tsunami devastate Japan.

The Occupy Wall Street movement begins in New York and spreads around the world.

Commoner Kate Middleton marries HRH William, Prince of Wales.

Movies: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, Bridesmaids, Super 8, Midnight in Paris

 The Tree of Life (Terrance Malick)

The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)

Melancholia (Lars von Trier)

Moneyball (Bennett Miller)

The Descendants (Alexander Payne)


2010

Amigo, the 17th feature film written and directed by John Sayles and the 14th produced by partner Maggie Renzi, is shot on location in the Philippines.

Apple introduces the iPad.  Wikileaks scandal.

After over two months, 33 Chilean miners are saved after being trapped by a cave-in.

World-wide economic slump; entire countries ask for bailouts.

Movies: Toy Story 3, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Inception, The King’s Speech, Black Swan, The Social Network

Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance)

Waiting for Superman (Davis Guggenheim)

The Kids are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko)

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik)


2009

Pre-production for Amigo, set during the same historical period as A Moment in the Sun.

America’s first African American president is inaugurated.

In what is called the “Miracle on the Hudson,” US Airways pilot Chesley Sullenberger is able to safely land his disabled aircraft on the Hudson river, saving all 155 people on board.

Justice Sonia Sotomayer is sworn in as the third woman and first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court.

Michael Jackson dies. Farrah Fawcett dies.

The debate over health care reform divides the US.

Movies: Up, Star Trek, District 9, Avatar, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, Inglourious Basterds, An Education, A Serious Man

500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb)

The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)

Away We Go (Sam Mendes)

Sin Nombre (Cary Fukunaga)


2008

Honeydripper wins Outstanding Independent or Foreign Film at the 2008 NAACP Image Awards.

Begins writing historical novel A Moment in the Sun while on strike with the Writer’s Guild of America.

Kosovo Declares Independence. Russia-Georgia War.

Barack Obama Elected 44th U.S. President.

Movies: The Dark Knight, Iron Man, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire

Frozen River (Courtney Hunt)
Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme)
Vicky Christina Barcelona (Woody Allen)

The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)
The Visitor (Thomas McCarthy)


2007

Honeydripper released. Honeydripper named one of Top 10 Independent Films of 2007 by the National Board of Review.

Record high gas prices.
Virginia Tech & Omaha Mall Tragedies.
Troop surge in Iraq as war continues.

Movies: No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Michael Clayton

A Mighty Heart (Michael Winterbottom)
Waitress (Adrienne Shelly)
The Savages (Tamara Jenkins)


2006

Honeydripper shot in Alabama.

Conservative Samuel Alito joins Supreme Court, replacing Sandra Day O’Connor. In midterm elections, Democrats win control of House and Senate.

Movies: Pirates of the Caribbean 2, The Queen, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Departed, X3

Inland Empire (David Lynch)
Half Nelscon (Ryan Fleck)
Little Miss Sunshine (Faris/Dayton)

A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman)

Away From Her (Sarah Polley)
Once (John Carney)
Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt)


2005

Kyoto Protocol takes effect, without U.S. support.

W. Mark Felt confirmed to be “Deep Throat” Watergate source.

Pope John Paul II dies.

Joseph Ratzinger elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Hurricane Katrina strikes Gulf Coast, followed by Hurricane Rita days later. New Orleans devastated.

John G. Roberts, Jr. sworn in as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, replacing William Rehnquist.

Movies: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, The Chronicles of Narnia, War of the Worlds, King Kong, Syriana, Munich, V for Vendetta

Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney)
Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)
Brick (Rian Johnson)
Junebug (Phil Morrison)


2004

Dillinger in Hollywood: New and Selected Short Stories published.

Silver City released.

San Francisco begins issuing marriage licenses to gay couples as an act of civil disobedience.

Terrorist bombing in Madrid.

Anti-American insurgency rises in Iraq.

George W. Bush elected to second term.

Movies: Spiderman 2, Shrek 2, Farenheit 9/11

Maria Full of Grace (Joshua Marston)
The Motorcycle Diaries (Walter Salles)


2003

Casa de los Babys released.

George W. Bush invades Iraq.
Dept. of Homeland Security created.
Robert Wise, acclaimed director, producer, and editor, dies at 91.
Movies: Return of the King, Finding Nemo

Space shuttle Columbia breaks up on reentry, killing all astronauts aboard.
George W. Bush appears before a banner celebrating “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq.

Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
The Station Agent (Thomas McCarthy)

The Fog of War (Errol Morris)
Tarnation (Jonathan Caouette)


2002

Sunshine State released.

IFC releases retrospective package of The Return of the Secaucus Seven, Lianna, and The Brother From Another Planet.

Moscow theatre siege by Chechen gunmen.

Corporate scandals. Catholic Church sex scandals.

Movies: Spiderman, Attack of the Clones, Chicago, Two Towers, Signs

Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Nia Vardalos)
Bowling for Columbine (Michael Moore)

Whale Rider (Niki Caro)
In America (Jim Sheridan)
Raising Victor Vargas (Peter Sollett)


2001

9/11 terrorist attacks destroy World Trade Center, damage Pentagon

George W. Bush invades Afganistan.

George Harrison dies.

TV: Six Feet Under

The Man Who Wasn’t There (Joel & Ethan Coen)
Gosford Park (Robert Altman)
Baby Boy (John Singleton)
Bully (Larry Clark), The Center of the World (Wayne Wang), Lovely & Amazing (Nicole Holofcener)

 No Such Thing (Hal Hartley)
Y tu Mama Tambien (Alfonso Cuaron)
Human Nature (Michel Gondry)
In the Bedroom (Todd Field)
Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly)
Monster’s Ball (Marc Forster)
Waking Life (Richard Linklater)


2000

Girlfight released (executive producer)

Non-story of the year: Y2K-related disasters fail to occur.

Movies: Cast Away, Gladiator, X-Men

Love & Basketball (Gina Prince-Bythewood)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)
Memento (Christopher Nolan)
Amores Perros (Alejandro Inarritu)

Bamboozled (Spike Lee)
George Washington (David Gordon Green)
Girlfight (Karyn Kusama)
Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier)


1999

Anthology John Sayles: Interviews, edited by Dian Carson, published by University Press of Mississippi.

Limbo released.

George W. Bush becomes President in contested election.

Movies: American Beauty, Being John Malkovich, The Insider, The Sixth Sense, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez)
Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Peirce)
Dogma (Kevin Smith)
Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson)


1998

Book-length interview Sayles on Sayles, edited by Gavin Smith, published by Faber and Faber.

Writes and directs Limbo.

Frank Sinatra dies. India and Pakistan conduct nuclear weapons tests.

Movies: Run Lola Run, Saving Private Ryan, Shakespeare in Love, The Truman Show

Woodstock ’99; legacy of Sixties trashed.

Columbine.

Stanley Kubrick dies.

The Big Lebowski (Joel & Ethan Coen)
Gods and Monsters (Bill Condon)
Happiness (Todd Solondz)
Pi (Darren Aronofsky)
Rushmore (Wes Anderson)


1997

Men With Guns released; Golden Globe nomination as the Best Foreign Language Film.

Princess Diana, Mother Teresa die.

Million Man March on Washington.

Bill Clinton re-elected.

Movies: As Good as it Gets, Good Will Hunting, LA Confidential, Men in Black, Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki), Titanic.

The Apostle (Robert Duvall)
Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Chasing Amy (Kevin Smith)

Gummo (Harmony Korine)
Rosewood (John Singleton)
Waiting for Guffman (Christopher Guest)


1996

Lone Star released; Sayles snags his second Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Russia elects Yeltsin. Centennial Olympic Games. Movies: The English Patient, Independence Day, Mission: Impossible, Trainspotting

Basquiat (Julian Schnabel)
Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson)
Fargo (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)
Sling Blade (Billy Bob Thornton)

IFC Entertainment is established, incorporating Next Wave Films, which provides finishing funds for the emerging DV cinema movement.


1995

Lone Star shot in Texas.

Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia signed a treaty to end three and a half years of war. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassinated.

Movies: Toy Story, Batman Forever, Apollo 13, Seven

The Slamdance Festival is established as an anti-establishment alternative to Sundance, which is now perceived as too powerful and clique-ridden.

A group of filmmakers led by Danish director Lars von Trier issues the Dogme 95 manifesto, heralding the DV (Digital Video) revolution.

Kids (Larry Clark)

Welcome to the Dollhouse (Todd Solondz)

The Sundance Channel is launched


1994

The Secret of Roan Inish released.  Sayles nominated for Independent Spirit Awards for Best Director and Screenplay for The Secret of Roan Inish.

Israel/Jordan peace agreement. Nelson Mandela becomes president in South Africa.

U.S. troops with the UN in Bosnia.

Movies: Dumb and Dumber, Ed Wood, Forrest Gump, The Lion King, Philadelphia, The Shawshank Redemption, Speed.

Amateur (Hal Hartley)
Kevin Smith shoots Clerks after hours in a New Jersey convenience store.

The Independent Film Channel debuts on cable.

Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction becomes the most successful American indie movie ever made.


1993

Screenplay for Men of War with Ethan Reigg and Cyrus Voris filmed by Perry Lang.

Rodney King cops walk; LA riots.

UN troops in Somalia; Black Hawk down.

Bill Clinton becomes president.

World Trade Center bombed.

Movies: The Fugitive, Jurassic Park, The Remains of the Day, Schindler’s List, Sleepless in Seattle

Twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes make Menace II Society, partly in response to the “preachy” Boyz N the Hood—and the conversation continues.


1992

Passion Fish released. Sayles’ screenplay and Mary McDonnell’s lead performance are nominated for Academy Awards.

Senate Judiciary Committee grills Supreme Court appointee Clarence Thomas, when charges of sexual harassment are leveled by law professor Anita Hill.

Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs takes indie-punk neo-noir to the next level, marking the emergence of a generation of self-taught filmmakers weaned in video stores.

The Independent Feature Project launches the magazine FILMMAKER as a voice for the independent film community.

Robert Rodriguez shoots his first feature, El Mariachi, for just $7,000, a new world record.

The Player (Robert Altman)


1991

Novel Los Gusanos published by HarperCollins.

City of Hope released.

The Independent Feature Projects debuts the annual Gotham Awards presentation.

Boyz N the Hood (John Singleton)
My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant)
Slacker (Richard Linklater)


1989

Screenplay for Breaking In filmed by Bill Forsyth.

Creates TV series Shannon’s Deal for NBC.

Mountain View, co-directed with Marta Renzi, airs on PBS.

George Bush authorizes U.S. invasion of Panama to kidnap suspected drug baron Manuel Noriega.

Berlin Wall demolished; Cold War ends.

Tiananmen Square.

Movies: Batman, Driving Miss Daisy, Glory, The Little Mermaid

The Sundance Festival emerges as the key starmaker of the indie world, when Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape is anointed there and goes on to become a landmark hit.

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee)
Drugstore Cowboy (Gus Van Sant)
True Love (Nancy Savoca)


1988

Eight Men Out released.

George H. W. Bush becomes president.
Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses published.
Movies: Big, Cinema Paradiso, Die Hard, Rain Man

Colors (Dennis Hopper)
Hairspray (John Waters)
The Moderns (Alan Rudolph)


1987

Screenplay for Wild Thing filmed by Max Reid.

Matewan released.

Thinking in Pictures: The Making of the Movie Matewan published by Houghton Mifflin.

Gorbachev launches “glasnost” and “perestroika”

Movies: Full Metal Jacket, The Last Emperor, Lethal Weapon, Moonstruck

Border Radio (Allison Anders)
Raising Arizona (Joel & Ethan Coen)


1986

Screenplay for The Clan of the Cave Bear filmed by Michael Chapman.
Teleplay for Unnatural Causes filmed by Lamont Johnson.

First national Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. Chernobyl. Challenger. Iran/Contra. Movies: Aliens, The Killer (John Woo), Platoon, Top Gun

Spike Lee launches one of the definitive independent film careers with She’s Gotta Have It.
Sid and Nancy (Alex Cox)
Working Girls (Lizzie Bordon)


1985

Directs Bruce Springsteen videos: “I’m on Fire,” “Glory Days.”

Hole in ozone layer discovered.

Rock Hudson dies of AIDS.

Movies: Back to the Future, Brazil, The Killing Fields, Out of Africa, The Color Purple.

Robert Redford takes over the struggling USA Film Festival, which as the Sundance Festival will become a make or break showcase for independent cinema.

Blue Velvet (David Lynch)
Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch)
Platoon (Oliver Stone)
The River’s Edge (Tim Hunter)


1984

The Brother From Another Planet released.

Directs Bruce Springsteen video: “Born in the USA.”

Sayles plays a “gentleman dope farmer” in Rick King’s Hard Choices, his first acting role in a film he did not direct; the first of many.

Los Angeles Olympics; Macintosh computer introduced.

Indira Gandhi assassinated

Music: “Born in the USA” (Bruce Springsteen).

Movies: Amadeus, Beverly Hills Cops, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Silkwood, The Cotton Club, The Gods Must be Crazy, The Terminator, This is Spinal Tap

IFP/West presents the first annual Independent Spirit Awards show.

The Coen Brothers low-budget Blood Simple is released, helping to create a new sub-genre, the neo-noir art movie.

Jim Jarmusch’s third feature Stranger Than Paradise establishes him as a definitive indie auteur with a hip, downtown sensibility.


1983

Writes screenplay for Matewan, based on an episode in Union Dues.

Lianna released.

Baby, It’s You released by Paramount.

Financing for Matewan collapses; writes and directs The Brother From Another Planet in less than three months.

Movies: The Big Chill, The Return of the Jedi, Risky Business, Terms of Endearment, Trading Places

Music: “Thriller” (Michael Jackson)

My Brother’s Wedding (Charles Burnett)
Streamers (Robert Altman)
Valley Girl (Martha Coolidge)


1982

Screenplay for The Challenge filmed by John Frankenheimer.

Teleplay with Susan Rice for Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, filmed by Ellen Hovde and Mirra Bank; airs on PBS.

Awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grants” : $33,000, tax free, for the each of the next five years.

U.S. backs Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Grenada.

John Belushi dies.

CD (Compact Disc) launched.

Movies: 48 Hrs, Blade Runner, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, First Blood, Gandhi, An Officer and a Gentleman, Tootsie, Missing

Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Robert Altman)
Diner (Barry Levinson)
Wild Style (Charlie Ahearn)
Liquid Sky (Slava Tsukerman)


1981

Writes and directs two plays, New Hope for the Dead and Turnbuckle, Off-Off Broadway.

MTV debuts with “Video Killed the Radio Star” (The Buggles).

Movies: Arthur, Chariots of Fire, Porky’s, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Stripes

The term AIDS (“Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome”) is first used.

Robert Redford establishes the Sundance Institute, a summer workshop program “dedicated to the support and development of emerging screenwriters and directors.”

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (Robert M. Young)

Chan Is Missing (Wayne Wang)


1980

 Screenplay for Alligator filmed by Lewis Teague.

Screenplay for Battle Beyond the Stars filmed by Jimmy Murakami.


Hostage crisis in Iran; rescue attempt fails. Ronald Reagan becomes president. John Lennon killed.

Movies: Airplane!, Altered States, The Blues Brothers, The Elephant Man, The Empire Strikes Back, Ordinary People, The Shining

loria (John Cassavetes)
Heartland (Richard Pearce)
One Trick Pony (Robert M. Young)
Out of the Blue (Dennis Hopper)


1979

Story collection The Anarchists’ Convention published by Little Brown.

Screenplay for Lady in Red filmed by Lewis Teague.

Secaucus 7 is edged out of the top prize at the USA Film Festival (later Sundance) by Heartland and Gal Young ‘Un, both about the overcast hardships of rural existence.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta receives Nobel Peace Prize. Shah of Iran ousted by the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Song: “Rapper’s Delight” (Sugar Hill Gang). First commercial rap record.

Movies: Alien, Apocalypse Now, The China Syndrome, Kramer vs. Kramer, Manhattan

The Independent Feature Project debuts as an indie-market sidebar to the New York Film Festival.

Chilly Scenes of Winter is released as Head Over Heels (Joan Micklin Silver)

Gal Young ‘Un (Victor Nunez)

Over the Edge (Jonathan Kaplan)


1978

Screenplay for Piranha filmed by Joe Dante.

Arab/Israeli summit talks; Camp David Accords. Sandanistas fight in Nicaragua. Jonestown.

Movies: Blue Collar, Coming Home, The Deer Hunter, Get Out Your Handerchiefs (Bertrand Blier), Grease, Halloween, National Lampoon’s Animal House, An Unmarried Woman.

Girlfriends (Claudia Weil)
Northern Lights (Rob Nilsson)
Remember My Name (Alan Rudolph)


1977

Novel Union Dues published by Little Brown; nominated for National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award.

Short story “Breed” wins O. Henry Award

Relocates to LA area (Santa Barbara) to pursue screenwriting.

Assigned Piranha re-write by Roger Corman.

First space shuttle flight. Anwar Sadat becomes first Arab leader to visit Israel. Elvis Presley dies.

TV: Roots

Movies: Annie Hall, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars

Annie Hall (Woody Allen), a major hit and a multiple Oscar winner whose influence has been almost exclusively on the indie world.

Citizen’s Band, aka Handle With Care (Jonathan Demme), Eraserhead (David Lynch), Last Chants for a Slow Dance (Jon Jost), Welcome to L.A. (Alan Rudolph), Alambrista! (Robert M. Young)


1976

Spends the summer acting with his former Williams classmates at the Eastern Slope Playhouse in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Acquires literary agent with ties in LA; writes Eight Men Out as a show-script.

Jimmy Carter becomes President; issues pardon to Vietnam-era draft evaders.

Alex Haley’s Roots published.

Movies: All the President’s Men, Bound For Glory, Carrie, Network, Rocky, Saturday Night Fever.

Harlan County, U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple)

Meat (Frederick Wiseman)


1975

Short story “I-80 Nebraska, m.490-m.205″ published in The Atlantic and wins an O. Henry award.

First novel Pride of the Bimbos published by Little Brown.

Communists seize power in Vietnam; fall of Saigon. Personal computer, VHS videotape introduced.

TV: Saturday Night Live

Movies: Dog Day Afternoon, Jaws, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Female Trouble (John Waters)

Hearts and Minds (Peter Davis; AA 1975, Best Documentary feature)

Robert Altman’s Nashville, another major-studio release that helped define the independent spirit.

Martha Coolidge makes the path-breaking feminist film Not a Pretty Picture.


1972

Graduates from Williams with B.S. in psychology.

Works as a nursing-home orderly in Albany, as a day laborer in Atlanta, as a meat packer in Boston, and hitchhikes across much of the US.

U.S. bombs Hanoi. Secret peace talks underway.

Watergate break-in

Richard M. Nixon re-elected

Movies: Cabaret, Deliverance, The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris, Play It Again, Sam

John Waters’ Pink Flamingos becomes the first certified “midnight movie” hit.

Greaser’s Palace (Robert Downey, Sr.)

Ganja & Hess (Bill Gunn, Fima Noveck)


1968

Drafted but rejected by US Army because of missing vertebra.

Attends Williams College, Williamstown, MA, majoring in psychology. Enrolls in creative writing classes. Acts in student plays with David Strathairn, Gordon Clapp, and Maggie Renzi.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated
Riots throughout the U.S.
Woodstock.
Neil Armstrong walks on the moon

The New York film school generation debuts, with the first low-budget features of Brian De Palma (Murder a la Mode and Greetings) and Martin Scorsese (Who’s That Knocking at My Door?)

Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider, though released by a major studio, confirms the existence of a large audience for non-mainstream cinema.


1960s

Attends Mount Pleasant High School, Schenectday, NY, in a Technical Electrical Program.

Earns letters in basketball, baseball, track, football.

Berlin Wall is built.

Cuban Missile Crisis

JFK assassinated

Malcolm X assassinated.  Autobiography of Malcolm X published.

National Organization for Women (NOW) founded.

“Summer of Love” in the Haight-Ashbury.

TV: Bonanza, Gilligan’s Island, The Smothers Brothers

Movies: La Dolce Vita, Psycho, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, To Kill a Mockingbird, Alfie, The Graduate, Planet of the Apes

War Hunt (Denis Sanders)

Emile de Antonio’s first documentary, Point of Order, about the Army-McCarthy hearings, is released.

John Waters makes his first underground film in Baltimore, Hag in a Black Leather Jacket.

Nothing But a Man (Michael Roemer)

The Pawnbroker (Sidney Lumet)

Rush to Judgment (Emil de Antonio)

Andy Warhol’s Chelsea Girls becomes the first “underground” film to receive a high-profile theatrical release.

Russ Meyer’s Vixen! and George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead break out of the exploitation ghetto to become “outlaw” cult movies.


1958

Begins writing stories featuring favorite TV and movie characters.

First sit-in occurs in Greensboro, NC.
U.S. launches first Explorer satellite.
Movies: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Gigi, The Horse’s Mouth


1957

U.S. Marshals enforce school desegregation in Little Rock.
Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is published.
TV: Leave It to Beaver

John Cassavetes makes what is widely regarded as the first true American independent features, Shadows.


1953

Korean War ends

Movies: From Here to Eternity, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Wild One

Stanley Kubrick completes his first low-budget independent feature Fear and Desire. Salt of the Earth, a fact-based labor film, is produced by a co-operative.


1950

Born September 28, Schenectaday, New York.

Korean War begins
Sen. McCarthy hunts Reds in the State Department.
TV: You Bet Your Life (Groucho Marx)
Movies: All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, Rashomon

Kenneth Anger completes his first “underground” film, Fireworks.

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