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Independent Films Buying Guide

While Hollywood blockbusters may dominate the mulitplexes, there are many filmmakers working outside the system making labours of love; films that often break-through, find an audience, and really speak to people. This is a guide to some of the best indie filmmaking.

Recent Releases

These recent films came from small beginnings to become big hits, critically acclaimed, or Oscar contenders.

Precious 

The film that won Sundance this year and made a big showing at the Oscars, Precious tells the story of the hardships endured by a teenager living in the New York ghetto.

500 Days of Summer 

Current indie king and queen Joseph Gordon Levitt  and Zooey Deschanel  star in this charming romantic comedy.

An Education 

Carey Mulligan  was nominated for an Oscar for he performance as a London teenager having an affair with an older man in this coming of age drama scripted by Nick Hornby .

Juno 

Ellen Page  plays a wise-cracking 15 year old who gets pregnant and decides to give her baby away to a childless couple.

Synecdoche New York 

Being John Malkovich  screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's directorial début, a unique and unforgettable

Low Budget Indies

Made for what would amount to the catering costs of a typical Hollywood production, these films never the less managed to capture the imagination of audiences around the world.

Slacker 

Richard Linklater's  first film, this follows a day in the life of young slackers living in Austin. Using an innovative structure: the film has no main character, as characters meet each other the film picks up the story with a new person every scene, it was a ground-breaking film for 90s indie cinema.

Clerks 

Kevin Smith's  first film, made on maxed out credit cards with a cast of non-actors, it was a major hit and catapulted its director into the mainstream.

Lost in Translation 

Sofia Coppola's  Oscar winning masterpiece, the films stars Bill Murray  and Scarlett Johansson  as two strangers meeting in Tokyo and sharing an intimate connection. Shot mostly guerilla style on location in Tokyo.

Mystery Train 

Jim Jarmusch's  film follows three stories, all taking place in a Memphis Hotel and all revolving in some way around Elvis Presley . An impressive cast includes Steve Buscemi  and music legends Joe Strummer  and Screamin Jay Hawkins .

Eraserhead 

David Lynch's  first film, and one much imitated by student art films. A bizarre stew of ominous soundscapes, surreal imagery, mutant babies and a general sense of unease.

Big Budget Indies

These films may have big stars and relatively large budgets, but they still maintain the independent spirit of the smaller budget films.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 

Directed by Michel Gondry  from a script by Charlie Kaufman, Jim Carrey  has his memory of his ex-girlfriend (Kate Winslet ) erased, but as the story of their relationship plays backward in his mind, he has second thoughts.

Fargo 

The Coen Brother's first Oscar winning film, Frances McDormand ,William H. Macy  and Steve Buscemi star in this icy tale of a botched kidnapping and the murders that follow.

The Royal Tenenbaums 

Wes Anderson's  film about a family of eccentrics brought back together when their estranged father announces he's dying of cancer. Only he's not.

The Graduate 

A film that has inspired countless indie film-makers, The Graduate made Dustin Hoffman  a star and has multiple iconic scenes and lines of dialogue that have become ingrained in the public consciousness.

The Big Lebowski 

The cult comedy stars Jeff Bridges  in his defining role as the Dude, a man taking it easy for all of us, and his increasingly convoluted quest to get compensation for his soiled rug. It really tied the room together.

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