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Back to School, Days 8 & 9

Back to School, Days 8 & 9

The past two days in class, we’ve looked at the rise of the Sundance Film Festival in the early 90s, and more importantly the emerging filmmakers that not only made their mark on the event but on independent film during that period.

In 1992 “Reservoir Dogs”, and in 1993 “El Mariachi”, caused a stir at the festival and introduced 2 new filmmakers (Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez respectively) who would achieve mainstream success via Miramax. Kevin Smith‘s “Clerks” the following year would be another important debut. We watched “El Mariachi” and marveled at Rodriguez’ early talent. We also screened Marina Zenovich’s “Independent’s Day” to get a closer look at Sundance and indie film in the 90s.

On Thursday, we considered another group of new filmmakers who emerged at Sundance, watching clips of David O. Russell‘s “Spanking the Monkey” and Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “Hard Eight”, and then a screening of Todd Haynes’ “Safe”.

Independent film changes in the 90s, as films and filmmakers gain wider awaress and hundreds each year make films, hoping to find the fame and fortune of their forebears.

As we look ahead towards the clash between Indiewood and corporate America that we will discuss on Monday, we are reading two key articles this weekend, Indie Film is Dead by Ted Hope and Long Live Indie Film by James Schamus, from Filmmaker Magazine.

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