The Film: The face of modern indie - backed by a major studio (Disney), but branded as edgy and leftfield. Its commercial and critical success changed the way Hollywood worked.
Only In America: The obsession with food, from small talk about McDonald's metric conversions to the choice of steak at Jack Rabbit Slim's: "burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell."
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Jul 4th 2012, 7:54
what the frak, what about A woman under the Influence? John Cassavetes? that is pure greatness!
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Jul 4th 2012, 8:46
yeah where is John Cassavetes he is the grandfather of indie cinema.
Jul 4th 2012, 8:59
I saw Rubber the other day.. I think that deserves a place, cracking little film.
Jul 4th 2012, 9:31
@ChrisWootton Rubber's a French indie, not American. :)
Jul 4th 2012, 9:32
I would add for starters....
Spank the monkey
Suprised there is no Labute, van sant or solondz on there...
Jul 4th 2012, 10:08
Ah, didn't know that.. thanks MikeyRIx.. didn't actually read the "American indie" bit :)
Jul 4th 2012, 10:18
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.....? Anyone? It was the highest-grossing independent film of all time, having made over $200 million at box office sure that has to count for something.....
Jul 4th 2012, 10:34
@zerozero - Drugstore Cowboy has Van Sant covered...
Jul 4th 2012, 11:10
@JPDisco ah yes missed that
Jul 4th 2012, 13:36
what about Nolan first film: Following, that was a great debut from him, the best indie movie at that time i think
Jul 4th 2012, 14:03
@FBAGardhadipu I'd have thought the London setting and English actors would have given it away.
Jul 4th 2012, 18:34
I would add Star Wars and Taxi Driver, but Im probably wrong on both counts.
Jul 4th 2012, 21:12
WHAT!? WHERE IS (500) DAYS OF SUMMER! ANOTHER EARTH! LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE! LEON! LARS AND THE REAL GIRL! AMERICAN BEAUTY! THE WACKNESS! GARDEN STATE! TOKYO STORY! BICYCLE THIEVES! THIS IS A TRAGIC LIST!!
Jul 4th 2012, 23:57
Tokyo Story is Japanese. Bicycle Thieves is Italian. It specifies American only.
Jul 5th 2012, 17:52
I agree with the other posters' comments about John Cassavetes. It is really hard to take this list seriously without his inclusion on it.
Jul 6th 2012, 11:25
Is there a way of viewing this as an actual list rather than a slideshow?
Jul 6th 2012, 11:45
i was hoping that in search of a midnight kiss would be on here
Jul 6th 2012, 18:19
Sorry, but any list that puts Donnie Darko above Halloween, Clerks, and The Blair Witch Project doesn't hold much water IMHO. Halloween starter a billion dollar genre (slasher) and was the #1 Budget to Profit Ration film of all time until Blair Witch came along. Clerks redefined the indy genre along with Pulp Fiction in the 90's. And Blair Witch started the modern "found footage" genre. Also, they are all better films than Darko. I've watched Darko 4 times and still don't get the big deal.
Jul 6th 2012, 21:22
The "50 Greatest American Independent Films" doesn't include even one John Cassavetes film? The father of American independent film doesn't even get a mention? Something is wrong with this picture. No true '50 Greatest American Independent Films' list would leave out Cassavetes.
And then there are films I would have thought would be on the list like 'Garden State,' Zach Braff's writer/directorial debut, 'Indian Runner,' Sean Penn's writer/directorial debut, or one of his follow ups like 'The Crossing Guard' with Jack Nicholson or 'Into the Wild,' with Emile Hersch. Or what about Neil Labute's 'In the Company of Men' or Ang Lee's 'Brokeback Mountain'? All are important American independent films, yet not a one is included in a so-called '50 Greatest American Independent Films' list. But you include 'Apocalypse Now' with its estimated $31.5 million budget as an "independent" film simply because the director threw some of his own money in? Ask any number of truly independent filmmakers what they could have done with a $31.5 million budget. With that kind of budget, you could have made dozens of Richard Linklater, Quentin Taratino or Kevin Smith films.
I would suggest that whoever developed this list go back and rethink this list because no respectable '50 Greatest American Independent Films' would include a studio-backed flick with a $31.5 million budget and leave out films by John Cassavetes, Sean Penn or Neil Labute.
Jul 6th 2012, 21:36
I would have had Chasing Amy in there
Jul 6th 2012, 22:17
This list is a joke, why is there no Kubrick, surely he made the best independent films there are, he made a concious effort not to conform to the Hollywood ideals, just watch Full Metal Jacket, he made it in two parts just to get back at Hollywood, poor show TotalFilm, your features are normally good, but this is just a disappointment.
Jul 8th 2012, 13:25
PULP FICTION? F**K OFF?
Tarantino is bloody rubbish stop pushing him, feel like I am taking crazy pills or something.
Aug 22nd 2012, 21:08
Passion of the Christ does not belong on any greatest list... It's just bad. Other wise decent list some obvious films and missing some others but not a bad list at all
Jan 25th 2013, 11:18
Black Biscuit by Fabrizio Federico broke all the rules, c**p list.
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