Today’s connotation of an “indie” flick is often something along the lines of: “Offbeat, small-town story starring Ellen Page with a soundtrack of mostly Vampire Weekend songs.” Even though at least part of that description is likely a safe bet, the technical understanding of what puts the “indie” in independent cinema is often forgotten.
Since the advent of Hollywood, independent cinema has existed on the outskirts of the film industry as a subversive sphere of boundary-pushing, unbridled creativity. Simply put, an indie movie is just any film that isn’t financially backed by a major studio. Independent films are something like a high-level lemon stand with a lot more cigarette smokers loitering around. On set, one might find a gold mine of undiscovered talent—or, industry veterans looking to break out of the mainstream.
Nevertheless, the typically bold byproducts of these ventures have come to be known as a genre in itself. Independent cinema is where filmmakers go to tell the stories that fall outside of the cookie cutter. It’s where actors go to take risks and push their limits. And, though most budgets don’t allow for any special effects or other big-budget tricks, independent cinema is where “movie magic” takes on a whole new meaning.
So, stick it to the man and get weird with these beloved indie darlings.
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