Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino and Baz Luhrmann may be household names now, but they weren’t back in the ’90s when all three captured the indie film world with their impressive debuts, “Following,” “Reservoir Dogs” and “Strictly Ballroom,” respectively. They’re far from the only indie auteurs whose earliest work is available to stream now on Netflix. Below is a list of some of your favorite directors’ first films, listed in alphabetical order, all available right now to subscribers.
Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Peirce, 1999): This Academy Award-winning film, based on a true story, features Hilary Swank as a transgender man looking for love in a small town — with devastating results.
Clerks (Kevin Smith, 1994): Sure, it’s juvenile bordering on offensive, but this low-budget fictional look at the life of two potty-mouthed convenience store clerks helped usher in a new wave of ultra-low budget indies.
Following (Christopher Nolan, 1998): If you’re a fan of Nolan’s “Memento,” you should check out this black-and-white neo-noir about a young man obsessed with following people.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Guy Ritchie, 1998): This award-winning debut film follows four “lads” in London’s East End participating in a high-stakes poker game. Ritchie’s first feature encompasses comedy, thriller and action (but alas, no romance).
Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992): One of the best debut efforts of all time, Tarantino’s award-winning heist film, inspired by Chung Yun-Fat’s 1987 Hong Kong action film “City on Fire,” confounded traditional narrative structure, flirted with violence and made us forever think of Steve Buscemi as “Mr. Pink.”
Strictly Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann, 1992): Dumped by his partner just before a major dance competition, talented Scott Hastings takes on a novice as his new partner in this campy classic from “Down Under” featuring two immensely likable stars we never saw again.
The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999): Based on the bestselling book of the same name, “The Virgin Suicides” follows a family of young blonde beauties in the aftermath of a child’s suicide. Featuring a charismatic performance by Kirsten Dunst, the film helped to finally redeem Coppola after her “Godfather III” debacle.
Walking and Talking (Nicole Holofcener, 1996): Liked “Enough Said?” Then you must check out Holofcener’s debut film, which features Catherine Keener and Anne Heche as childhood friends navigating an adult relationship. It’s a “chick flick” — in the best possible way.