So the plot for The Brother From Another Planet goes a little something like this:
A black guy from outerspace that looks a lot like Mos Def (just as handsome)
crash lands on Earth after escaping from slavery on his home planet. He has the ability to heal wounds, fix electronics, and grow back his own missing leg with the touch of a hand. He can also pop out his own eyeball and record the events that it sees. He can’t talk, but the people in Harlem take him in and look after him. Even when a couple of bounty hunters from his planet come and try to enslave him again.
John Sayles is so awesome.
Wild Thing (not The Wild Things, or just Wild Things) is about a young boy who witnesses the death of his hippie parents and is taken in by a crazy lady who thinks anything having to do with corporate america is part of “The Company” and will only try to enslave you (blue coats will catch you and take you to white coats. Also, rats are demons from hell). Wild Thing doesn’t talk either, and lives on the streets with the cats as though he were a jungle man. He, of course, meets a kind social worker (saves her from rapists, actually) who helps him out when he’s misunderstood and thrown in jail. They fall in love.
(It’s annoying that I can’t find any pictures)
So I’m finding some similarities already in Sayles work. The inability to communicate combined with a reliance on the help of others creates a kind of innocence that is able to overcome the petty racism and social predjudice of the city. These characters that are completely removed from society have trouble understanding why we treat each other the way we do, and yet seem to resort to some of the same kinds of behaviors in the end. Maybe violence is the only way to deal with humans effectively at this point. Like, The Brother suffocates someone with a bag of cocaine.
Also, the effects in these movies are pretty awesome. The Brother turns away from the camera, fiddles with his eye for a minute, turns back to the camera and has his hand over his eye, with his eyeball in his hand. There is also a coreographed fight seen where all the drunk guys do the moves in unison.