Spanking the Monkey

As open-minded as our society has become about gender and race (or, at least, part of our society) when it comes to incest, we're not exactly looking to move that needle forward anytime soon. And that's where art comes in, ready to push us into exploring the very ideas we'd most rather avoid discussing. It's … Continue reading Spanking the Monkey

Mi Vida Loca

Allison Anders was America's indie darling for about 5 minutes in the 90's with her Sundance hit Gas Food Lodging, which was a slick and glossy film with a weak script but an indie attitude that captured people's excitement. It made enough buzz to earn her a spot on the box-office bomb Four Rooms, the … Continue reading Mi Vida Loca

I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing

Patricia Rozema is not a household name, and she's made an odd smattering of films, including one for the American Girl series... and yet she's been a fiercely independent filmmaker in every sense of the word since the 1980's, the decade she first wrote, directed, edited, and produced her debut, I've Heard the Mermaids Singing. … Continue reading I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing


The 1997 Academy Awards were dubbed "Independents' Day" due to the rare prevalence of independent films in all the big category nominations, with films like Mike Leigh's Secrets and Lies and The Coen Brothers' Fargo getting more attention than their respective authors were used to. Still, it was the unknown Australian director Scott Hicks who … Continue reading Shine


John Sayles is arguably America's greatest independent filmmaker, having spent a lifetime navigating the backwards industry known as Hollywood as a ghostwriter in order to finance his own fiercely independent productions. As writer, director, and editor, Sayles' stamp is clear- a deeply humanist and compassionate lens, part Ken Loach without the overt socialism, part Cassavetes … Continue reading Matewan


In the tradition of minimalist neo-realism comes this unlikely contender from Costa Rica: Alexandra Latishev Salazar's Medea, a film that eschews exposition and just throws you in the middle of its fiercely independent protagonist's life, no context, no three act structure, just a straight-up fly-on-the wall front row seat into this young woman's life. And … Continue reading Medea