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» The 50 Greatest American Independent Movies

Empire celebrates Independence Day the independent way
by Sam Toy, Stephen Carty, Dan Jolin, James White, Helen O'Hara, Ali Plumb, Philip De Semlyen, published on July 4, 2011

As much as blockbusters can thrill us, beyond the well-tended flowerbeds and spacious corner offices of Hollywood there's a world bubbling with creativity, free spirits and up-and-coming talent. Some of the heroes of American indie cinema have gone on to try their hand at multiplex fodder; some have stayed resolutely outside the mainstream. This roll of honour celebrates both, as well as some of the names that didn't achieve the acclaim they deserve. But how you define 'indie'? Do big studios' independent arms count? Should Miramax's output qualify? Our criteria is aesthetic rather than financial: if it feels like an indie, it's in; if it's The Phantom Menace, it's not. Ultimately though, whether they're made for millions or 50p and bits of pocket fluff, it's about great movies that are worth celebrating again...

[...]

46. Juno (2007)
Director: Jason Reitman

All in all, Juno made $231 million. Not bad for a movie starring two relative unknowns about a perennially “difficult” topic, shot for $7 million over 30 days, right? Amazingly, Jason Reitman read and loved the script before his debut, Thank You For Smoking, had even been released, meaning that it was down to the script’s own charm to win over the cast. The resulting film is an absolute joy, an endearing, beautiful indie that manages to discuss abortion in a frank and balanced way while its whipcrack dialogue zinged (zang?) off screen. Plus, it helped eBay Hamburgerphone sales skyrocket, which can only be a good thing, right? Right?

Source: www.empireonline.com

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