New York, more than any other city, has held a special fascination for filmmakers and viewers. In every decade of Hollywood filmmaking, artists of the screen have fixated upon this fascinating place for its tensions and promises, dazzling illumination and fear-some darkness. The glittering skyscrapers of such films as "On the Town" have shadowed the characteristic seedy streets in which desperate, passionate stories have played out - as in "Scandal Sheet" and "The Pawnbroker." In other films, the city is a cauldron of bright lights, technology, empire, egotism, fear, hunger, and change - the scenic epitome of America in the modern age. From "Street Scene" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" to "Rosemary's Baby," "The Warriors," and "25th Hour," the sixteen essays in this book explore the cinematic representation of New York as a city of experience, as a locus of ideographic characters and spaces, as a city of moves and traps, and as a site of allurement and danger. The contributors consider the work of Woody Allen, Blake Edwards, Alfred Hitchcock, Gregory La Cava, Spike Lee, Sidney Lumet, Vincente Minnelli, Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, Andy Warhol, and numerous others.
With high-profile Academy Award nominations and an increasing number of big-name actors eager to sign on to promising projects, independent films have been at the forefront in recent years like never before. But the roots of such critical and commercial successes as The Hurt Locker and Precious can be traced to the first boom of independent cinema in the 1960s, when a raft of talented filmmakers emergedto capture the attention of a rapidly growing audience of young viewers. A thorough overview of a thriving area of cultural life, Directory of World Cinema: American Independent chronicles the rise of the independent sector as an outlet for directors who challenge the status quo, yet still produce accessible feature films that not only find wide audiences but enjoy considerable box office appeal—without sacrificing critical legitimacy. Key directors are interviewed and profiled, and a sizeable selection of films are referenced and reviewed. More than a dozen sub-genres—including African American cinema, queer cinema, documentary, familial dysfunction, and exploitation—are individually considered, with an emphasis on their ability to engage with tensions inherent in American society. Copious illustrations and a range of research resources round out the volume, making this a truly comprehensive guide. At a time when independent films are enjoying considerable cultural cachet, this easy-to-use yet authoritative guide will find an eager audience in media historians, film studies scholars, and movie buffs alike.
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
Bringing alive a remarkable moment in American cultural history, Scott MacDonald tells the colorful story of how a small, backyard organization in the San Francisco Bay Area emerged in the 1960s and evolved to become a major force in the development of independent cinema. Drawing from extensive conversations with men and women crucial to Canyon Cinema, from its newsletter Canyon Cinemanews, and from other key sources, MacDonald offers a lively chronicle of the life and times of this influential, idiosyncratic film exhibition and distribution collective. His book features many primary documents that are as engaging and relevant now as they were when originally published, including essays, poetry, experimental writing, and drawings.
Children of Marx and Coca-Cola affords a deep study of Chinese avant-garde art and independent cinema from the mid-1990s to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Informed by the author¿s experience in Beijing and New York¿global cities with extensive access to an emergent transnational Chinese visual culture¿this work situates selected artworks and films in the context of Chinese nationalism and post-socialism and against the background of the capitalist globalization that has so radically affected contemporary China. It juxtaposes and compares artists and independent filmmakers from a number of intertwined perspectives, particularly in their shared avant-garde postures and perceptions.
Contemporary independent American and non-American films distributed in the United States have emerged as a distinct system of representation formulated in the expanse between principles of Hollywood popular film and alternative cinematic practices. Cinema & Culture considers independent film as an industry, a set of institutions, a discursive formation, and a specific series of texts. Investigating the consumption side of the spectrum (distribution, reception, textual analysis), attention is focused on narrative films released theatrically in the United States by nonstudio distributors between 1980 and 2001. The category «independent film» is analyzed as the function of multiple, simultaneous, layered, and interacting discourses: representational, institutional, interpretive, and cultural/historical. Under exploration is the extent to which independent film as a distinct cultural formation is able to represent the stories, perspectives, and experiences of a pluralistic, multicultural society.
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller. The most important development in American culture of the last two decades is the emergence of independent cinema as a viable alternative to Hollywood. Indeed, while Hollywood's studios devote much of their time and energy to churning out big-budget, star-studded event movies, a renegade independent cinema that challenges mainstream fare continues to flourish with strong critical support and loyal audiences. Cinema of Outsiders is the first and only comprehensive chronicle of contemporary independent movies from the late 1970s up to the present. From the hip, audacious early works of maverick David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch, and Spike Lee, to the contemporary Oscar-winning success of indie dynamos, such as the Coen brothers ( Fargo ), Quentin Tarentino ( Pulp Fiction ), and Billy Bob Thornton ( Sling Blade ), Levy describes in a lucid and accessible manner the innovation and diversity of American indies in theme, sensibility, and style. Documenting the socio-economic, political and artistic forces that led to the rise of American independent film, Cinema of Outsiders depicts the pivotal role of indie guru Robert Redford and his Sundance Film Festival in creating a showcase for indies, the function of film schools in supplying talent, and the continuous tension between indies and Hollywood as two distinct industries with their own structure, finance, talent and audience. Levy describes the major cycles in the indie film movement: regional cinema, the New York school of film, African-American, Asian American, gay and lesbian, and movies made by women. Based on exhaustive research of over 1,000 movies made between 1977 and 1999, Levy evaluates some 200 quintessential indies, including Choose Me, Stranger Than Paradise, Blood Simple, Blue Velvet, Desperately Seeking Susan, Slacker, Poison, Reservoir Dogs, Gas Food Lodging, Menace II Society, Clerks, In the Company of Men, Chasing Amy, The Apostle, The Opposite of Sex, and Happiness . Cinema of Outsiders reveals the artistic and political impact of bold and provocative independent movies in displaying the cinema of outsiders-the cinema of the other America.
It is widely understood that writing can discuss writing, but we rarely consider that film can be used as a means of analyzing conventions of the commercial film industry, or of theorizing about cinema in general. Over the past few decades, however, independent cinema has produced a body of fascinating films that provide intensive critiques of nearly every element of the cinematic apparatus. The experience of these films simultaneously depends on and redefines our relationship to the movies. Critical Cinema provides a collection of in-depth interviews with some of the most accomplished "critical" filmmakers. These interviews demonstrate the sophistication of their thinking about film (and a wide range of other concerns) and serve as an accessible introduction to this important area of independent cinema. Each interview is preceded by a general introduction to the filmmaker's work; detailed filmographies and bibliographies are included. Critical Cinema will be a valuable resource for all those involved in the formal study of film, and will be essential reading for film lovers interested in keeping abreast of recent developments in North American cinema. INTERVIEWEES: Hollis Frampton, Larry Gottheim, Robert Huot, Taka Iimura, Carolee Schneeman, Tom Chomont, J.J. Murphy, Beth B and Scott B, John Waters, Vivienne Dick, Bruce Conner, Robert Nelson, Babette Mangolte, George Kuchar, Diana Barrie, Manuel DeLanda, Morgan Fisher. Plus many more in additional volumes.
American Independent cinema has been an important creative and cultural media entity for the past fifteen years. This title questions the supposed autonomy of this cinema and asks if independent film can possibly survive in the face of the mass-production and profit of Hollywood.
The rise of independent cinema in Southeast Asia, following the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers there, is among the most significant recent developments in global cinema. The advent of affordable and easy access to digital technology has empowered startling new voices from a part of the world rarely heard or seen in international film circles. The appearance of fresh, sharply alternative, and often very personal voices has had a tremendous impact on local film production. This book documents these developments as a genuine outcome of the democratization and liberalization of film production. Contributions from respected scholars, interviews with filmmakers, personal accounts and primary sources by important directors and screenwriters collectively provide readers with a lively account of dynamic film developments in Southeast Asia. Interviewees include Lav Diaz, Amir Muhammad, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Eric Khoo, Nia Dinata and others.
An insiders account of what goes on behind the scenes in independent film covers John Piersons pivotal role in the launching of such films as Stranger than Paradise, Clerks, Shes Gotta Have It, and Roger and Me.