Produced outside of the typical blockbuster studio system, independent film is unique in the way that indie films are produced, filmed and edited independently and without the rules set by big production companies in blockbuster films. Perhaps certain indie films such as Requiem for a Dream and Juno fight against taboos within the film industry and explore issues that are frowned upon in society, but if one thing is certain, indie films are the most iconic. They are the most engaging. And they are arguably some of the best films of all time.
Independent films are the more creative and experimental type of film. A filmmaker’s personal opinions and artistic vision can be more extensively unveiled. A creative stance on the way that the films are shot, perhaps filming on a hand-held camera like in The Blair Witch Project or filming with Super 16 mm camera to create a grainy effect like in Black Swan, can make the film more appealing and even more beautiful as the film feels more personal. The viewer can become more involved in the film. That is what makes independent film so great; the independency to create something extraordinary.
A 1992 crime thriller based in America, Reservoir Dogs, is set in one room and it tells the story of a diamond heist gone wrong. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, it was his debut in film and as a result, shaped his legacy as a filmmaker fighting taboos about violent crime and popular culture. The film has attracted a cult following and was named the “Greated Independent Film of All Time” by Empire magazine. His budget for the film was $30,000 and he thought of the idea for Reservoir Dogs while working at a video store. It has also been named as an significant role in the development of independent cinema.
Released in 2010, Black Swan is a psychological thriller-horror film set in America. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, it is based around the production of Tchaikovky’s Swan Lake and the birth of a ballet dancer. Aronofsky used a hand-held Super 16 mm camera to create a grainy style of image. During an interview with IndieWire, he said: “Steady-cams are very different than hand-helds, because hand-held gives you that verite feel. I was concerned if that would affect the suspense, but after a while I said, ‘Screw it, let’s go for it.”
DAZED AND CONFUSED
Written by Richard Linklater and released in 1993, Dazed and Confused is a coming-of-age comedy film following different groups of teenagers based in Texas on the last day of school in the year 1976. It has been ljsted by Quentin Tarantino as the 10th best film of all time. As described by Owen Gleiberman, the film “finds its meaning in the subtle clash between the older, sadistic macho-jock ethos and the follow-your impulse hedonism that was the lingering legacy of the ‘60s.”
REQUIEM OF A DREAM
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, Requiem for a Dream is a psychological drama film released in 2000. Based on the novel of the same name by Hubert Selby Jr., the film follows several characters through their reckless drug addictions which leads them into an isolated world of misapprehension. The film is iconic in the way that it has more than 2,000 cuts, uses a split-screen largely throughout, and uses close-ups to create suspense. The use of these film techniques is to illustrate the fact that the characters are spiralling out of control into a life of desolation as a result of their destructive drug taking.
A comedy-drama film released in 2007 and set in America, Juno was directed by Jason Reitman. Initially a novel entitled Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper, the plot follows a quirky teenager experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The opening title of the film, a cartoon sequence, was put together over several months by a Shadowplay Studio, a small design studio. They used 1970s rock posters as inspiration for the illustrations to create an image that “had texture and a little bit of edge, but also imparted the warmth and heart of the screenplay.”
Written by Anna Clark