It’s harder than you might think to pin down what it means to be an independent film. Is a true Indie one that’s made without money from the studios? If that’s the case then Terminator 2 and The Fellowship of the Ring are “indies” and Rushmore and Mean Streets are not. We’re digging in to some of the best indies in cinema history to find out exactly what defines independent cinema and there are at least (even though we’re sure there are more) 10 categories worth of defining traits, so here are our picks for the 10 best indies of all time.
We could start by looking at indies that don’t have Sony or Disney or Warner Brothers anywhere in their company org charts, which would give us gems from Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock with Rebecca on up to A24 and Bo Burnham with Eighth Grade. Or maybe it’s just an vibe in the subject matter, Call Me By Your Name, En Bruge, Adaptation, they all FEEL indie, but had major studio money behind them. Perhaps, it’s a fresh and new style and structure, something that’s truly unique in the vein of Pulp Fiction or Moonlight. The point here is, “indie” is a near impossible thing to define, but you’ll know it when you see it!
This Movie List was written and edited by Billy Jackson.
10 – Indie Studio – Reservoir Dogs (1992) dir. Quentin Tarantino
9 – Studios Indie Division – Lost in Translation (2003) dir. Sofia Coppola
8 – Exclusively Self Funded – Night of the Living Dead (1968) dir. George A. Romero
7 – Low Budget – Slacker (1990) dir. Richard Linklater
6 – Indie out of Sundance – Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989) dir. Stephen Soderbergh
5 – Indie By Audience It’s Made For – Killer of Sheep (1978) dir. Charles Burnett
4 – Indie By Subject Matter – Pink Flamingos (1972) dir. John Waters
3 – Indie By Style – Easy Rider (1969) dir. Dennis Hopper
2 – Indie By Structure – Memento (2000) dir. Christopher Nolan
1 – Something Utterly New – Shadows (1959) dir. John Cassavetes
For more tangentially related CineFix – IGN Movies and TV, be sure to subscribe AND check these out!
5 Brilliant Moments of David Cronenberg Body Horror – https://youtu.be/ii4gUB3-dZo
How The Daniels Made Kindness as Thrilling as John Wick for the multiverse of Everything Everywhere All At Once – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJgzrPUGRh8
The Green Knight, David Lowery and a Unique Obsession with Myth – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEfDu2s7G5I&t=84s
The Rocky Horror Picture Show and 10 of the Best Musicals of All Time – https://youtu.be/uT_fK5bpAfw
Interstellar, Tenet and A Brief History of Christopher Nolan and Time – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLrvo1ab4XM&t=80s