From Easy Rider to The Blair Witch Project, this book is a comprehensive examination of the independent film scene. Exploring the uneasy relationship between independent films and the major studios, the contributors trace the changing ideas and definitions of independent cinema, and the diversity of independent film practices.
They consider the ways in which indie films are marketed and distributed, and how new technologies such as video, cable and the internet, offered new opportunities for filmmakers to produce and market independent films.
Turning to the work of key auteurs such as John Sayles and Haile Gerima, contributors ask whether independent filmmakers can also be stars, and consider how indie features like Boys Don't Cry and Shopping for Fangs address issues of gender, sexuality and ethnicity normally avoided by Hollywood.
For all students of film studies and American studies, this cultural journey through independent film history will be an absolute must read.
1. Introduction: From the Margins to the Mainstream Part 1: Critical Formations 2. Introduction to 'Critical Formations' 3. The Independent Feature Movement 4. Independence for Independents 5. Dimension Pictures: Portrait of a 1970s Independent 6. End of the Indies 7. Alternative Cinemas Part 2: Cult Film/Cool Film 8. 'Queen of the Indies': Parker Posey's Niche Stardom and the Taste Cultures of Independent Film 9. Dark, Disturbing, Intelligent, Provocative, and Quirky: Avant-garde Cinema of the 1980s and 1990s 10. Communitarianism, Film Entrepreneurism and the Crusade of Troma Entertainment Part 3: Iconoclasts & Auteurs 11. John Sayles, Independent Filmmaker: Bet on Yourself 12. Haile Gerima: Sacred Shield of Culture 13. Seminal Fantasies: Wakefield Poole, Pornography, Independent Cinema and the Avant-Garde Part 4: Identity Hooks - Cultural Binds 14. Generation Q's ABCs: Queer Kids and 1990s Independent Films 15. Just Another Girl Outside the Neo-Indie 16. Guests at The Wedding Banquet: The Cinema of the Chinese Diaspora and the Rise of the American Independents Part 5: Shifting Markets, Changing Media 17. Revisiting 1970s Independent Distribution and Marketing Strategies 18. Digital Deployment(s) 19. The IFC and Sundance: Channeling Independence