1st Edition

Screening American Independent Film

Edited By Justin Wyatt, W.D. Phillips Copyright 2023
    524 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    524 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This indispensable collection offers 51 chapters, each focused on a distinct American independent film.

    Screening American Independent Film presents these films chronologically, addressing works from across more than a century (1915−2020), emphasizing the breadth and long duration of American independent cinema. The collection includes canonical examples as well as films that push against and expand the definitions of "independence." The titles run from micro-budget films through marketing-friendly Indiewood projects, from auteur-driven films and festival darlings to B-movies, genre pics, and exploitation films. The chapters also introduce students to different approaches within film studies including historical and contextual framing, industrial and institutional analysis, politics and ideology, genre and authorship, representation, film analysis, exhibition and reception, and technology.

    Written by leading international scholars and emerging talents in film studies, this volume is the first of its kind. Paying particular attention to issues of diversity and inclusion for both the participating scholars and the content and themes within the selected films, Screening American Independent Film is an essential resource for anyone teaching or studying American cinema.

    Introduction to Screening American Independent Film (2023)

    W.D. Phillips & Justin Wyatt

    Ch. 1 Two Knights of Vaudeville (1915)

    Allyson Nadia Field

    Ch. 2 Safety Last! (1923)

    Christina G. Petersen

    Ch. 3 Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

    Peter Krämer

    Ch. 4 Billy the Kid Returns (1938)

    W.D. Phillips

    Ch. 5 Detour (1945)

    Todd Berliner

    Ch. 6 The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

    Lisa Dombrowski

    Ch. 7 The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

    Philip Drake & Nessa Johnston

    Ch. 8 Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

    Jamie Hook

    Ch. 9 I Want to Live! (1958)

    Peter Labuza

    Ch. 10 Color Me Blood Red (1965)

    Murray Leeder

    Ch. 11 My Hustler (1965)

    Kevin John Bozelka

    Ch. 12 Portrait of Jason (1967)

    James Morrison

    Ch. 13 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)

    Cynthia Lucia

    Ch. 14 The Learning Tree (1969)

    Arthur Knight

    Ch. 15 Wanda (1970)

    Pamela Robertson Wojcik

    Ch. 16 Billy Jack (1971)

    Nicholas Godfrey

    Ch. 17 Deep Throat (1972)

    José B. Capino

    Ch. 18 Pink Flamingos (1972)

    Nathan Koob

    Ch. 19 Dark Star (1974)

    Nitin Govil

    Ch. 20 A Very Natural Thing (1974)

    Matt Connolly

    Ch. 21 The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

    Sam Littman

    Ch. 22 Chan is Missing (1982)

    Cynthia Baron

    Ch. 23 One from the Heart (1982)

    Justin Wyatt

    Ch. 24 Choose Me (1984)

    Caryl Flinn

    Ch. 25 Desert Hearts (1986)

    Chelsea McCracken

    Ch. 26 Down By Law (1986)

    Yannis Tzioumakis

    Ch. 27 She’s Gotta Have It (1986)

    Apryl Lewis

    Ch. 28 Eight Men Out (1988)

    Aaron Baker

    Ch. 29 sex, lies, and videotape (1989)

    Michael Z. Newman

    Ch. 30 Paris Is Burning (1990)

    Michele Meek

    Ch. 31 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

    Cortland Rankin

    Ch. 32 My Own Private Idaho (1991)

    Daniel Herbert

    Ch. 33 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

    Rick Warner

    Ch. 34 Pulp Fiction (1994)

    Scott L. Baugh

    Ch. 35 Eve’s Bayou (1997)

    Kristi McKim

    Ch. 36 Donnie Darko (2001)

    Claire Parkinson

    Ch. 37 The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

    Warren Buckland

    Ch. 38 Stranger Inside (2001)

    Kathleen McHugh

    Ch. 39 Far from Heaven (2002)

    Ken Feil

    Ch. 40 Real Women Have Curves (2002)

    Mirasol Enríquez

    Ch. 41 American Splendor (2003)

    Alberto Zambenedetti

    Ch. 42 Paranormal Activity (2007)

    Aslı Ildır

    Ch. 43 The Great Flood (2012)

    Dale Hudson & Patricia R. Zimmermann

    Ch. 44 Before Midnight (2013)

    Chuck Tryon

    Ch. 45 Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

    Mark Gallagher

    Ch. 46 Jason and Shirley (2015)

    Alexendra Juhasz

    Ch. 47 The Witch (2015)

    Alex Brannan

    Ch. 48 1985 (2018)

    Daniel Humphrey

    Ch. 49 First Cow (2020)

    J.J. Murphy

    Ch. 50 The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020)

    Sarah E.S. Sinwell

    Ch. 51 Nomadland (2020)

    Geoff King


    Justin Wyatt is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Film/Media, and Journalism at the University of Rhode Island. He is the author of The Virgin Suicides: Reverie, Sorrow and Young Love (Routledge) and the co-editor of Contemporary American Independent Film: From the Margins to the Mainstream (Routledge). He is completing a manuscript on qualitative and quantitative market research methods in the media industries. He has published in the fields of media history, film marketing, and media industry studies.

    Wyatt D. Phillips is an Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies in the English Department at Texas Tech University. His work primarily engages questions of the political economy of media production and circulation. His current book project considers the historical relationship between turn-of-the-century business culture and the significance of genre in early Hollywood. His publications include work on the economic structure and history of the American film industry, the rise of drive-in theaters, and Camp TV of the 1960s.