The American independent sector has attracted much attention in recent years, an upsurge of academic work on the subject being accompanied by wider public debate. But many questions remain about how exactly independence should be defined and how its relationship might be understood with other parts of the cinematic landscape, most notably the Hollywood studios. Edited and written by leading authors in the field, American Independent Cinema: indie, indiewood and beyond offers an examination of the field through four sections that range in focus from broad definitions to close focus on particular manifestations of independence. A wide variety of examples are included but within a framework that offers insights into how these are related to one another.
More specifically this collection offers:
- an account of recent developments as well as reviewing, reassessing and revising a number of central positions, approaches and arguments relating to various parts of the independent and/or indie sector.
- Individual case studies that range from the distinctive qualities of the work of established ‘quality’ filmmakers such as Wes Anderson, Steven Soderbergh and Rebecca Miller to studies of horror genre production at the more ‘disreputable’ end of the independent spectrum.
- Examples of the limits of independence available in some cases within Hollywood, including studies of the work of Stanley Kubrick and Hal Ashby.
- Case studies of under-researched areas in the margins of American independent cinema, including the Disney nature films and Christian evangelical filmmaking.
- A number of wider overview chapters that examine contemporary American independent cinema from a number of perspectives.
Together, the chapters in the collection offer a unique contribution to the study of independent film in the United States.
Contributors: Warren Buckland, Philip Drake, Mark Gallagher, Geoff King, Peter Krämer, Novotny Lawrence, James MacDowell, Claire Molloy, Michael Z. Newman, Alisa Perren, James Russell, Thomas Schatz, Michele Schreiber, Janet Staiger, Yannis Tzioumakis, Sarah Wharton
Table of Contents
Introduction Part 1 Introduction Chapter 1 Independent of What? Sorting out differences from Hollywood, Janet Staiger Chapter 2 ‘Independent’, ‘Indie’ and ‘Indiewood’: towards a periodisation of contemporary (post-1980) American independent cinema, Yannis Tzioumakis Chapter 3 Thriving or in Permanent Crisis? Discourses on the state of indie cinema, Geoff King Chapter 4 Quirky: buzzword or sensibility?, James MacDowell Part 2 Introduction Chapter 5 Movies for Hipsters, Michael Z. Newman Chapter 6 Discerning Independents: Steven Soderbergh and transhistorical taste cultures, Mark Gallagher Chapter 7 Their Own Personal Velocity: women directors and contemporary independent cinema, Michele Schreiber Chapter 8 Last Indie Standing: the special case of Lions Gate in the new millennium, Alisa Perren Part 3 Introduction Chapter 9 Conglomerate Hollywood and American Independent Film, Thomas Schatz Chapter 10 Reputational capital, creative conflict and Hollywood independence: the case of Hal Ashby, Philip Drake Chapter 11 The Limits of Autonomy: Stanley Kubrick, Hollywood and independent filmmaking, 1950-53, Peter Krämer Chapter 12 Independent nature: wildlife films between Hollywood and indiewood, Claire Molloy Part 4 Introduction Chapter 13 In Hollywood, but not of Hollywood: Independent Christian Filmmaking, James Russell Chapter 14 Welcome to the (neo) grindhouse! Sex, violence and the indie film, Sarah Wharton Chapter 15 Faux Real? C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America as the response to The Birth of a Nation, Novotny Lawrence Chapter 16 Measuring Online Word-of-Mouth: The Initial Reception of Inland Empire (2006) on the Web, Warren Buckland
Geoff King is Professor of Film Studies at Brunel University and author of five books focused on the independent sector, including American Independent Cinema (2005), Indiewood, USA: Where Hollywood Meets Independent Cinema (2009) and Indie 2.0: Change and Continuity in Contemporary Indie Film (2012).
Claire Molloy is Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media at Edge Hill University. She is the author and editor of three books including Memento (2010), a volume in the 'American Indies' series, and has published widely on various film topics in edited collections and journals.
Yannis Tzioumakis is Lecturer in Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of three books on independent filmmaking, including American Independent Cinema: An Introduction (2006) and Hollywood’s Indies: Classics Divisions, Specialty Labels and the American Film Market (2012). He also co-edits the series ‘American Indies,’ which has published five volumes since 2009.