5 - I've been a fan of John Sayles since Brother From Another Planet. I haven't loved every film, but I dig his unwavering indie spirit. He came from the same *school* as directors like Martin Scorcese and James Cameron - working early in their careers with Roger Corman.
Sayles penned a few screenplays for Corman in the late 1970s/early 1980s, and it's primarily through screenwriting Sayles has been able to survive - writing scripts (or sometimes rewriting) for higher-budgeted studios pictures, and using the money earned from those gigs to help fund his low-budget directorial efforts (like the above) - films that often tell stories centered around the *under-represented* and marginalized, from all walks of life.
Joe Morton starred in Brother From Another Planet, a film for which I've read several different interpretations of. The narrative in the low-key dramedy about the adventures of a black extraterrestrial - the ''Brother'' of the title - who comes to earth to escape slavery on Planet X, makes for wonderful fodder for dissection. It's a film that is still, quite frankly, transgressive, even today.
If you haven't seen it, and you're a Netflix customer with a streaming account, now you can.