6.0/10
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30 user 27 critic

The Independent (2000)

Trailer
1:11 | Trailer

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A notorious B-movie director tries for a comeback by seeking out the film rights to the life story of a serial killer who wants his biography film to be a musical.

Director:

Stephen Kessler
2 wins. See more awards »

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Fake documentary about a fictional Hollywood film studio.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Stiller ... Morty Fineman
Janeane Garofalo ... Paloma Fineman
Max Perlich ... Ivan
Ted Demme ... Himself
Roger Corman ... Himself
Ron Howard ... Himself
Karen Black ... Herself
Peter Bogdanovich ... Himself
Fred Williamson ... Himself
Nick Cassavetes ... Himself
Paul Logan ... Son
Stacy Fuson ... Daughter
Herb Marcus Herb Marcus ... Old Man / Mr. Witz
Julie Strain ... Ms. Kevorkian
Stephen Kessler Stephen Kessler ... Steve
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Storyline

Documentary look at Morty Fineman, a prolific maker of schlock independent films, who's down on his luck. Actors, directors, and writers, including Ron Howard and Karen Black, comment on his work, we see clips from some of his 427 titles, and we watch Morty try to get financing for a film about a serial killer. He hires his daughter, Paloma, as his business manager. His A.D., the long-suffering Ivan, stays by his side. Morty owes the bank $10 million from his one blockbuster failure. Can he find the financing, or is it time for Morty to retire. Meanwhile, Ivan hooks Morty up with a new film festival, in Chaparral, Nevada. Is this the ticket to renewal? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Morty Fineman. Artist. Visionary. Madman.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

"Fineman Films"

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Independentul See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,695, 2 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$238,431, 5 May 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

United Lotus Group See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Paul's last film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ted Demme: I think Morty is a visionary.
Roger Corman: I think Morty was and is an artist.
Ron Howard: He's an innovator.
Karen Black: Very persistent. And you have to love him for that.
Peter Bogdanovich: Morty would try things, and then 2 years later someone would copy it and win an Oscar for it.
Fred Williamson: This is the only man that I've ever worked with that I feel I can't take.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The titles of all 427 of Morty Fineman's films are shown along with the end credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in E! True Hollywood Story: Ginger Lynn (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Funny, but room for improvement.
2 February 2004 | by BlueghostSee all my reviews

The only criticism I'd make about this film is that the documentary angle wasn't played up to its entirety. There're shots in the film that just don't gybe with documentary film making. An example are some of the lockdown shots, where edited footage of two people having a conversation (a conversation that is supposed captured by a single camera) is shown. It just doesn't wash. And the film suffers because of it. Documentary crews either setup interviews or follow their subjects around. The intercut sequences harken too much to traditional film making. Documentaries have long takes of jittery or mildly shaken hand held shots. Documentaries do not contain lockdown car shots, dolly shots, or other complicated camera moves. It just doesn't happen: It's not what documentary film making is all about. And yet "The Independent" has all of these things.

If the actors had just been allowed to act in front of the camera, possibly ad lib in a long master, then this film would've been much more than what it ultimately became, and would've achieved its goal with sterling aplomb. As it is now it's an attempt at making a mocumentary. Fairly succesful, good, funny, but ultimately a few points shy of a comic masterpiece.

Otherwise it's actually a funny film. Anybody who's worked on any kind of independent production will tell you that this film hits pretty close to home. Artistic license is taken with over the top situations and performances, but the film manages to capture the general feel of how the indy-film maker works, and does so in a comic vein. Stiller plays the exploitation film maker who denies his more base nature, stating that he's an artiste commenting on society, and not a director of hack T&A/slasher/blacksploitation/biker or whatever exploitation genre that he's actually known for.

If you enjoyed "This is Spinal Tap," "Jackie Brown," or "Drop Dead Gorgeous," then you'll warm to this film. Take note of the rating; it's not a comedy for kids.


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