John Sayles is considered by many to be the godfather of American independent film. After an apprenticeship scripting exploitation movies, he became a fully-fledged filmmaker, often writing, directing, editing and even acting in his many films chronicling modern America. Rather than lone heroes or banal action, his naturalist melodramas map the rich social fabric of the many communities, both visible and hidden, that make up contemporary America. "The Cinema of John Sayles" analyses his films in relation to questions of language, history, power and social critique, and traces their hope for a better world than this one.
Mark Bould is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of the West of England. The author of Film Noir: From Berlin to Sin City (Wallflower, 2005), he is currently co-editing Neo-noir.