Still Watching the Skies: Episode 113 “The Brother from Another Planet”

Nat, Cody, and Robert discuss John Sayles’s independent success, THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET and round out the episode with a discussion of 2023 in Film.

John Sayles had something of two careers in the early 1980s. He bounced between paying the rent with better than they had any right to be scripts for the likes of PIRANHA, ALLIGATOR, THE HOWLING, and other B movies and his burgeoning career as a film director with THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET being a notable early film which did make waves at the time.

The Brother from Another Planet

THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET has a rather simple premise with which it strings its narrative off of. An unnamed alien (Joe Morton) crashes to Earth near Ellis Island. He then wanders through New York City both observing and trying to fit in while two Men in Black, portrayed by John Sayles and David Strathairn, pursue him. Fortunately, the brother blends in due to the color of his skin and the fact that he actually listens.

The Brother From Another Planet

Shot on location in New York City, THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET remains a time capsule of the 1980s nearly 40 years after its debut and a look at American society. THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET largely eschews plots for a series of vignettes which serve to flesh out the people and culture that this stranger in a strange land encounters.

The Brother from Another Planet

Needless to say, there’s a lot to dig into with THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET. It’s a snapshot of 80s Reagan era America. It’s deeply skeptical of government and other formal institutions. However, it’s very generous towards individuals and their capacity to be decent to each other, particularly when centered around the local watering hole.

If that’s not enough, we decide to wrap things up by having a discussion about 2023 in film, the highlights, the lowlights, the trends, and our impressions.

No need to try to assimilate into a strange world. You can give us a play below or Download the episode. Also, feel free to let us know what you think by commenting on our page at Facebook or you can Email Us at as we appreciate feedback.

The Brother From Another Planet

Time tracks:
51:17- 2023 in Film Discussion
1:28:04- Next Movie and Outro

Next month, we revisit two old favorites, Stuart Gordon and H.P. Lovecraft when we go on a sensory expanding trip to discover what lies FROM BEYOND. We hope you’ll join us.

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