“Geoff King’s important book stands with the best scholarship I have seen on this vital, constantly evolving subject.” —David Sterritt, author of The Films of Alfred Hitchcock
The independent sector has produced many of the most distinctive films to have appeared in the U.S. in recent decades. From sex, lies and videotape in the 1980s to The Blair Witch Project and New Queer Cinema in the 1990s and the ultra–low budget digital video features of the 2000s, indie films have thrived, creating a body of work that stands out from the dominant Hollywood mainstream. But what exactly is “independent” cinema?
In American Independent Cinema, Geoff King argues that independence can be defined partly in industry terms but also according to formal and aesthetic strategies and by distinctive attitudes toward social and political issues, suggesting that independence is a dynamic rather than a fixed quality. Chapters focus on distribution and relationships with Hollywood studios, narrative and other formal dimensions, approaches to genre, and alternative sociopolitical visions. King also traces the history of the independent sector from the days of early cinema through the beginning of the 21st century.