John Sayles is as close to an indie film demigod as the movie industry has got. He’s been a consistent, distinctive and fiercely independent storyteller—from his 1979 writing-directing debut Return of the Secaucus Seven straight through his lengthy string of art-house dramas (Baby It’s You, The Brother From Another Planet, Matewan, Eight Men Out, City of Hope, Passion Fish, Men of War, The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star, Sunshine State). With his latest, Amigo, the quirky-brilliant auteur indulges his love for history by crafting an epic-yet-intimate fictional account of the rarely-if-ever-dramatized Philippine-American War.
The CW—being the young, impatient network that it is—looks like it’s going to be the first to get its new fall season off the starting blocks. The first and best of the four shows debuting this month from CW is the much-anticipated Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle “Ringer.” Gellar built up a lot of good will and a major fan base thanks to the seven seasons she spent on The WB (not to be confused with The CW) network’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Though “Ringer” isn’t quite in the supernatural-drama-action-comedy genre that “Buffy” was, it boasts enough entertaining elements to carry it through its first season with ease.