Still from the film Sunshine State (2002) showing a woman sitting in the foreground at the edge of a bed, and a man half-covered by a sheet sitting up against the headboard

Sunshine State

  • This is a past program

The UCLA Film & Television Archive presents classic film and contemporary cinema in the Hammer's Billy Wilder Theater.

Part of the series John Sayles: Independent. Sayles will attend each screening for conversations and to sign copies of his new novel, Yellow Earth, which will be on sale at each venue.

Sunshine State

“They don’t realize how difficult it is to invent a tradition!” This exasperated sigh from Mary Steenburgen—starring alongside Edie Falco, Timothy Hutton, and Angela Bassett—so succinctly sums up the tension at the core of this multilayered, dense satire. Thwarted in his attempts to find untouched locations in small-town Florida for an adaptation of a short story, John Sayles turned his attention instead to a story about a simple Florida beach town that finds itself gradually displaced by encroaching corporate tourism. While Marly (Edie Falco) claims to be the most recent of “six generations on this sandpile,” men in suits trudge through shoreline palms to imagine the great developments to be erected, while a group of older white golfers serve up commentary as a modern day Greek chorus. A film deeply entrenched in the anxieties of George W. Bush’s first term that perfectly predicts today’s nationwide gentrification trends. (2002, dir. John Sayles, 35mm, color, 141 min.)