American Independents

by gnazferel | created - 09 Feb 2016 | updated - 11 May 2016 | Public
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1. Guns of the Trees (1961)

85 min | Drama

A depressed woman, Barbara, is on the verge of suicide while a man she meets in a church and a married couple try to convince her that life is worth living.

Director: Jonas Mekas | Stars: Adolfas Mekas, Frances Stillman, Ben Carruthers, Argus Spear Juillard

Votes: 91

3. Window Water Baby Moving (1959)

13 min | Documentary, Short

Stan Brakhage films the birth of his first child, Myrrena.

Director: Stan Brakhage | Stars: Jane Brakhage, Myrrena Brakhage, Stan Brakhage

Votes: 1,905

4. The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (1971)

32 min | Documentary, Short, Horror

At a morgue, forensic pathologists conduct autopsies of the corpses assigned.

Director: Stan Brakhage

Votes: 1,258

5. Twice a Man (1964)

49 min | Drama

Paul Klib stars in this experimental film in which he is loved by his stepmother as well as another man (Albert Torgessen). He sees his stepmother as both a young woman ( Olympia Dukakis ) and an older one (Violet Roditi).

Director: Gregory J. Markopoulos | Stars: Olympia Dukakis, Paul Kilb, Gerard Malanga, Violet Roditi

Votes: 111

6. The Illiac Passion (1967)

90 min | Drama

Prometheus engages in repeated scenes of bisexuality in this independent feature from the New York underground.

Director: Gregory J. Markopoulos | Stars: Richard Beauvais, David Beauvais, Robert Alvarez, Taylor Mead

Votes: 21

7. Eaux d'artifice (1953)

Not Rated | 12 min | Short

A man dressed in an elegant period dress wanders through the water gardens at the Villa d'Este.

Director: Kenneth Anger | Star: Carmilla Salvatorelli

Votes: 1,304

8. A to Z (1956)

7 min | Short

Add a Plot

Director: Michael Snow

Votes: 10

9. New York Eye and Ear Control (1964)

34 min | Short

The waves and the sand on a beach are covering a cutout of a woman's silhouette while a free jazz background music is heard. The same jazz musicians will pose later for the camera in a studio or in the streets of New York.

Director: Michael Snow | Stars: Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Sunny Murray, Gary Peacock

Votes: 29

10. Fuji (1974)

8 min | Animation, Short

An animated short of passengers on a train with Mt. Fuji visible from the window.

Director: Robert Breer

Votes: 249

11. A Man and His Dog Out for Air (1957)

3 min | Animation, Short

While birds can be heard singing a shrill song, lines crisscross wildly as if they aimed to form shapes. Their efforts seem hopeless until the very end when, at long last, they manage to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Breer

Votes: 272

12. The Pleasure Garden (1953)

38 min | Short, Comedy

People quietly or campily pass the time in an overgrown garden full of statues, while a puritanical, funereal gentleman posts bills prohibiting all leisure activities.

Director: James Broughton | Stars: Jean Anderson, Lindsay Anderson, Maxine Audley, Jill Bennett

Votes: 123

13. The Potted Psalm (1946)

24 min | Short

A soundless mix of story fragments and images. Initially, images of death, a man with a guitar, a soirée. Some images are surreal: an older woman eats a leaf; a headless man pours a ... See full summary »

Directors: James Broughton, Sidney Peterson | Stars: Beatrix Perry, Harry Honig, Joyce M. Geary, Donald Nelson

Votes: 141

14. Scattered Remains (1988)

14 min | Short

James Broughton reads his poetry over various images.

Directors: James Broughton, Joel Singer | Star: James Broughton

Votes: 36

15. Shadows (1958)

PG | 87 min | Drama, Romance

Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd, Anthony Ray

Votes: 8,539

16. Opening Night (1977)

PG-13 | 144 min | Drama

An actress suffers an emotional uproar in her personal life after a fan dies trying to see her.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara, Joan Blondell

Votes: 7,203

17. Faces (I) (1968)

R | 130 min | Drama

A middle-aged man leaves his wife for a younger woman. Shortly after, his ex-wife also begins a relationship with a younger partner. The film follows their struggles to find love amongst each other.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin, Seymour Cassel

Votes: 8,048

18. Husbands (1970)

PG-13 | 131 min | Comedy, Drama

A common friend's sudden death brings three men, married with children, to reconsider their lives and ultimately leave together. But mindless enthusiasm for regained freedom will be ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, Jenny Runacre

Votes: 4,225

19. Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)

GP | 114 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A museum curator falls in love with a crazy parking attendant.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, Seymour Cassel, Val Avery, Timothy Carey

Votes: 3,482

20. A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

R | 155 min | Drama, Romance

Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her mental illness proves to be a problem in the marriage.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper, Lady Rowlands

Votes: 17,126

21. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

R | 135 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A proud strip club owner is forced to come to terms with himself as a man, when his gambling addiction gets him in hot water with the mob, who offer him only one alternative.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey, Seymour Cassel, Robert Phillips

Votes: 8,992

22. Gloria (1980)

PG | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, Buck Henry, Julie Carmen, Tony Knesich

Votes: 7,026

23. Love Streams (1984)

PG-13 | 141 min | Drama

Two closely bound, emotionally wounded siblings reunite after years apart.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Diahnne Abbott, Seymour Cassel

Votes: 4,004

24. Northern Lights (1978)

95 min | Drama, History

NORTHERN LIGHTS has the feel of an old black and white photograph discovered in an attic. The bitter-sweet story of young lovers caught up in an political struggle waged by farmers against ... See full summary »

Directors: John Hanson, Rob Nilsson | Stars: Robert Behling, Susan Lynch, Joe Spano, Ray Ness

Votes: 142 | Gross: $0.01M

25. Best Boy (1979)

111 min | Documentary, Biography

In this documentary, the director follows the day-to-day activities of his retarded, middle-aged cousin Philly, over a three-year period.

Director: Ira Wohl | Stars: Ira Wohl, Philip Wohl, Zero Mostel, Christine O'Connor

Votes: 564

26. Gal Young Un (1979)

105 min | Drama

Gal Young 'Un centers on a spinster woman who lives alone in the woods of north Florida until she is swept off her feet by an opportunistic bootlegger. He marries her for her place and her ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Nunez | Stars: Dana Preu, David Peck, J. Smith-Cameron, Gene Densmore

Votes: 110

27. Killer of Sheep (1978)

80 min | Drama

94 Metascore

Set in the Watts area of Los Angeles, a slaughterhouse worker must suspend his emotions to continue working at a job he finds repugnant, and then he finds he has little sensitivity for the family he works so hard to support.

Director: Charles Burnett | Stars: Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy, Angela Burnett

Votes: 5,233 | Gross: $0.40M

28. The Kirlian Witness (1979)

R | 75 min | Thriller

Laurie believes that it's possible to communicate with plants via telepathy and devotes all her time and love to them. Her plants do warn her of her sister Rilla's new boyfriend Robert. ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Sarno | Stars: Nancy Snyder, Nancy Boykin, Joel Colodner, Ted Le Plat

Votes: 63

29. Joe and Maxi (1978)

80 min | Documentary

An intimate look at a young filmmaker's sometimes rocky relationship with her widower father.

Directors: Joel Gold, Maxi Cohen

Votes: 9

30. The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (1980)

65 min | Documentary, History, War

Documentary about women working in factories during WWII and resultant loss of jobs after the war. Five women tell their stories. Fascinating clips of racist, sexist propaganda of the era.

Director: Connie Field | Stars: Wanita Allen, Gladys Belcher, Lyn Childs, Lola Weixel

Votes: 253

31. The Wobblies (1979)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary

THE WOBBLIES boldly investigates a nation torn by naked corporate greed and the red-hot rift between the industrial masters and the rabble-rousing workers in the field and factory.

Directors: Stewart Bird, Deborah Shaffer

Votes: 91

33. Image Before My Eyes (1981)

90 min | Documentary

Using historical footage, still photographs, and live interviews, the filmmaker tells the story of Jewish life in Poland between the two World Wars. Includes scenes of urban and rural life,... See full summary »

Director: Joshua Waletzky | Star: Karen Sunde

Votes: 23

34. The Sky Is Gray (1980 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 46 min | Drama

A young boy named James comes of age in 1940s Louisiana and grapples with what it means to be black during a time of racism and poverty. James's mother accompanies her son to town to see ... See full summary »

Director: Stan Lathan | Stars: Olivia Cole, James Bond III, Margaret Avery, Cleavon Little

Votes: 49

36. Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

R | 120 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A gay man and a political prisoner are together in a prison. The gay man narrates the stories of two fake movies and his own life.

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sônia Braga, José Lewgoy

Votes: 12,498 | Gross: $17.04M

37. Heartland (1979)

PG | 96 min | Western, Drama

A widow with a young daughter travels to a ranch in Wyoming to manage the household of a rancher. After a while the man and woman develop a relationship that leads to a marriage. But life in the harsh place takes its toll.

Director: Richard Pearce | Stars: Rip Torn, Conchata Ferrell, Barry Primus, Megan Folsom

Votes: 762

38. Alambrista! (1977)

Not Rated | 110 min | Adventure, Drama

After the birth of his first child, Roberto, a young Mexican man slips across the border into the United States. Seeking work to support his family back home, he finds that working hard is not enough.

Director: Robert M. Young | Stars: Domingo Ambriz, Trinidad Silva, Linda Gillen, Ned Beatty

Votes: 502

39. Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979)

R | 104 min | Drama

Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.

Director: John Sayles | Stars: Bruce MacDonald, Maggie Renzi, Adam LeFevre, Maggie Cousineau

Votes: 1,800 | Gross: $2.00M

40. City of Hope (1991)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama

An intersecting tale with a multitude of characters living lives which, in one way or another, revolve around an old apartment block scheduled to be demolished.

Director: John Sayles | Stars: Vincent Spano, Tony Lo Bianco, Stephen Mendillo, Chris Cooper

Votes: 1,943 | Gross: $1.26M

41. Poison (1991)

R | 85 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

67 Metascore

Three stories, each in a different genre, articulate Todd Haynes' idea of a queer cinema.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Edith Meeks, Larry Maxwell, Susan Norman, Millie White

Votes: 3,196 | Gross: $0.61M

42. Swoon (1992)

Unrated | 93 min | Crime, Drama

The true story of gay lovers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr. who kidnapped and murdered a child in the early 1920s for kicks. The plot covers the months before the crime, the ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Kalin | Stars: Daniel Schlachet, Craig Chester, Ron Vawter, Michael Kirby

Votes: 1,432 | Gross: $0.34M

43. House of Games (1987)

R | 102 min | Crime, Thriller

78 Metascore

A psychiatrist comes to the aid of a compulsive gambler and is led by a smooth-talking grifter into the shadowy but compelling world of stings, scams, and con men.

Director: David Mamet | Stars: Lindsay Crouse, Joe Mantegna, Mike Nussbaum, Lilia Skala

Votes: 18,187 | Gross: $2.59M

44. Tarnation (2003)

Unrated | 88 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

Film-maker Jonathan Caouette's documentary on growing up with his schizophrenic mother -- a mixture of snapshots, Super-8 film, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, and more - culled from nineteen years of his life.

Director: Jonathan Caouette | Stars: Jonathan Caouette, Renee Leblanc, Adolph Davis, Rosemary Davis

Votes: 6,028 | Gross: $0.59M

45. Four Eyed Monsters (2005)

85 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

72 Metascore

Apathy, technology, paranoia, disease and medication. Meet Arin. Arin is a shy videographer who finds it too much to handle to go out and meet girls, so he sets up an account on meester.net... See full summary »

Directors: Susan Buice, Arin Crumley | Stars: Susan Buice, Arin Crumley, Julia Ann Ames, Lindsey Andersen

Votes: 1,122

46. The Puffy Chair (2005)

R | 85 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

Josh Sagers drives cross-country on a mission to deliver his father's birthday gift - a giant purple LazyBoy.

Directors: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass | Stars: Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton, Rhett Wilkins, Julie Fischer

Votes: 4,541 | Gross: $0.19M

47. Mutual Appreciation (2005)

R | 109 min | Comedy

84 Metascore

Alan is a musician who leaves a busted-up band for New York, and a new musical voyage. He tries to stay focused and fends off all manner of distractions, including the attraction to his good friend's girlfriend.

Director: Andrew Bujalski | Stars: Justin Rice, Rachel Clift, Andrew Bujalski, Seung-Min Lee

Votes: 1,654 | Gross: $0.10M

48. Alexander the Last (2009)

Not Rated | 72 min | Drama, Romance

An ensemble drama about a married actress, her sister and their myriad sexual and creative temptations.

Director: Joe Swanberg | Stars: Jess Weixler, Justin Rice, Barlow Jacobs, Amy Seimetz

Votes: 594

49. Nebraska (2013)

R | 115 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

86 Metascore

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne | Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk

Votes: 102,813 | Gross: $17.65M



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