From sex, lies and videotape in the 1980s to The Blair Witch Project and New Queer Cinema in the 1990s and the ultra-low budget digital video features of the 2000s, indie films have thrived and stand out from the dominant Hollywood mainstream. But what exactly is 'independent' cinema? This, the ideal textbook and general read on indie cinema, shows that independence can be defined partly in industry terms but also according to formal and aesthetic strategies and by distinctive attitudes towards social and political issues, suggesting that independence is a dynamic rather than a fixed quality. Chapters focus on distribution and relationships with Hollywood studios; narrative (Clerks and Slacker to Pulp Fiction, Magnolia and Memento) and other formal dimensions (from Blair Witch's 'authenticity' to expressive and stylized camerawork and editing in work from Harmony Korine to the Coen brothers); approaches to genre and alternative socio-political visions.
American Independent Cinema