Carnegie Mellon University
September 06, 2012

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon’s David R. Shumway To Discuss Filmmaker John Sayles on Sept. 18

Contact: Shilo Rea / 412-268-6094 /

Event: To celebrate Independent Film Week (Sept. 16-20), Carnegie Mellon University’s David R. Shumway will discuss the works of legendary filmmaker John Sayles

Sayles, considered the model of the contemporary independent filmmaker because he raises the funds for his films himself, was the focus of Shumway’s latest book. In “John Sayles,” Shumway writes about how Sayles has used his freedom to write and produce films with a distinctive personal style and clearly expressed political opinions.

"Like Classic Era directors such as Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock, John Sayles is a great storyteller," said Shumway, professor of English within the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and director of the Humanities Center. "But unlike their films, his also ask us to think critically about the world in which we live. 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 to hold before seeing them."

At the event, Shumway will provide an overview of Sayles’ career, show film clips, read excerpts from his book and answer questions. Copies of “John Sayles,” published by the University of Illinois Press as a volume in the Contemporary Film Director Series, will be available at the special price of $15 each. A book signing reception will follow the discussion.

When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 18
Where: Peters Township Public Library

To Register: Contact the library at 724-941-9430 or

For more information on Shumway, visit

Related Article:
New Book By Carnegie Mellon’s David R. Shumway Examines Filmmaker John Sayles and the Politics of American Cinema