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Cinema of Outsiders : The Rise of American Independent Film - Emanuel Levy

Cinema of Outsiders

The Rise of American Independent Film


Published: 17th August 1999
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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."

"The most detailed and up-to-date book on independent cinema, an invaluable reference work." - Molly Haskell, Washington Post "Thoughtful and substantial." - Stuart Klawans, The Nation "An indispensable text for anyone who wants to understand the independent world." - David Ansen of Newsweek "At a time when independent American films are more visible and important than ever before, this is an invaluable study. Emanuel Levy's writing is wise, passionate, and amazingly well-informed." - Roger Ebert "The time is ripe for an intelligent, informed, well-organized book on the world of independent cinema - and Emanuel Levy has given us just that." - Leonard Maltin A Los Angeles Times

Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. 1
The New American Independent Cinemap. 13
Cinema of Outsidersp. 52
Fathers and Sonsp. 102
Regional Cinemap. 152
The New York School of Indiesp. 184
The Resurrection of Noirp. 218
Comedy and Satire: Tackling Taboosp. 249
Drama: Challenging Stereotypesp. 282
Cinema of Diversityp. 315
Female/Feminist Sensibilityp. 348
The New African American Cinemap. 405
The New Gay and Lesbian Cinemap. 442
Conclusion: Independent Film Nowp. 494
Major Indie Movies by Title (1977-1998)p. 515
Major Indie Movies by Year (1977-1998)p. 527
Notesp. 539
Select Bibliographyp. 557
Indexp. 573
About the Authorp. 601
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814751237
ISBN-10: 0814751237
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 601
Published: 17th August 1999
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.3  x 5.08
Weight (kg): 1.02