CINEMA: LOOK MA, NO SPACE INVADERS!

JOHN SAYLES MAKES THE SUMMER SAFE FOR GROWNUPS

In life the past haunts us. In the movies it has become a throwaway line. No one seems to care anymore how characters reach the pretty pass in which the first reel finds them. No one seems to remember the power of history to grant coherence to chaotic experience.

No one but John Sayles, that is. His Lone Star has become, in limited release, this summer's movie of choice for grownups who still regard intricate narrative and careful characterization as the most treasurable of special effects. There are no explosions here, just a skeleton unearthed from a shallow grave after a...

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