In the previous article, Indie Filmmaking, we shared our thoughts on how Indie films are considered cheapo films where in reality they are a part of fine arts. Here are few Indie films, we suggest budding filmmakers to watch and learn. Except for the Mean Streets (1973), all the other films mentioned here in the list are from mid 90’s to early 2000’s, it was an era of independent films. Many masters we look up at, like Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino were young aspirants filled with hopes and dreams in a full indie-mode back then.
- Mean Streets (1973) : This Scorsese film, takes you into the roots of New York and makes you experience the Italian mobs and crimes of that period.
- Reservoir Dogs (1992) : Quentin Tarantino’s use of dialogue to build tension was something very new then. It was a period when dialogues didn’t play much role in films other than enhancing the character. But this flick was a tight kick in the gut of the mainstream cinema.
- Pi (1998) : Even Darren Aronofsky’s debut ‘Pi’ was as good as his latest piece, Mother! (2017). His style of editing makes this film outstanding and original. Similar to his other work, this film concentrates on the psyche of the lead role. Pace of the film shifts with changes in the character’s sanity.
- Donnie Darko (2001) : One can never forget this disturbing and bone-chilling psychological thriller by Richard Kelly. This film haunts the viewer forever and the credit goes to Jake Gyllenhaal, whose performance creeps you for hours after you’ve finished watching it. This film challenges your mental abilities, teases your brain and makes you look like a fool!
- Pulp Fiction (1994) : Any list made on indie films, is incomplete without Pulp Fiction! This Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece is a tight slap to all the screenplay formats and norms which were present at that period. Pulp Fiction makes the viewer feel like they’re reading a book as it has different chapters and it’s up to the viewer to link all the non-linear stories they’ve been viewing.
- Run Lola Run (1998) : Don’t really know if Nazi German experimentations ever worked, but this Gemran experiment was something no one imagined or made till then. Tom Tyker shows different possibilities of a single situation. The film uses lots of methods to have a stylized visual narrative. It uses animation, weird camera angles and movements to convey the story which was unthinkable then.
- Memento (2000) : Christopher Nolan, the name is enough to make film enthusiasts run to the cinemas. But back then, he was an indie filmmaker who made this masterpiece with minimal budget. Screenplay of Memento can be considered as a textbook for screenwriting aspirants. This film set a new heights of having non-linear screenplay. This film runs reverse in time, it begins from the climax and ends in the beginning.
- The Usual Suspects (1995) : This flick by Bryan Singer is considered as one of the biggest plot twists ever in the history of world cinema! This feels like a normal crime drama which unveils the plot by each step but at the end it makes the viewer put up a facepalm and feel like an idiot for the maker has made him one.
- Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004) : This is where Charlie Kaufman began his surreal explorations and it’s his finest movie of all. This indie film is a psychological and philosophical experience which leaves the viewer in awe.
- Requiem For A Dream (2000) : Darren Aronofsky again! This particular film is undoubtedly his finest. Because he manoeuvres the film’s pace slow to fast and fast to slow suiting the story and characters. It starts as a slow paced drama film and by the end it’s a fast paced thriller which has already made your jaws drop, shoulders shrug and head cringe. This thought provoking film haunts the viewer for days, makes them think and love it even more.
All these great films prove that you don’t really need a studio backing you up, or millions of dollars to make a piece of art! All you need is the right vision and a proper plan to raise funds and narrate your stories visually. We might have missed many great movies which deserved a mention, we’d love it if you decided to drop few great flicks in the comment section or discuss them with us in the mail.