Be it the big-budget Hollywood productions with unimaginable sci-fi anarchy, the blockbuster celluloids with neo-noir crime thriller themes or the mind-blowing feature films with 'marvel'ous superheroes and 'fantastic' fantasies, there's no denying that the more of these we consume, the bigger our appetite becomes. However, there comes a time when the methodical mayhem, the mythical creatures and the legendary men in tights start to cobweb your senses, and you long for an offbeat yet appealing film to recover your taste of simple yet twisted cinema.
From innovative movies shot solitarily on a low budget to bold, brilliant science fictions not afraid to explore deeper philosophical ideas, these are the 10 best indie films till date in no particular order. Although widely popular now, they started out as little independent flicks.
Bryan Singer's mind-bending heist thriller is far more than just a crime yarn with a clever twist. Sleight of hand and misdirection are the tools beautifully used here. The Usual Suspects is a masterwork of modern film-making, as simple in inception as it is elegant in execution. By the way, it's more fun when you watch it for the second time.
Requiem for a Dream follows the tragic story of a group of friends and their battle with drug addiction. This dirty, depressing and absolutely splendid movie walks us through an excursion that leads to an unforgiving experiment. Darren Aronofsky's marvel will have you look at your occasional emotional outbursts in a new, scary light. A must watch and a must leave-it-alone.
Initially a flop at the box office, this unconventional movie that follows an awkward and psychologically unbalanced teenager has managed to become one of the all-time indie cult classics. Donnie Darko plays around with the idea of altering time and destiny. The movie should be celebrated for its audacity more than its logic. Best of luck with this one.
When Michel Gondry decides to make a movie based on a screenplay written by Charlie Kaufman, you can't expect it to be straightforward and uncomplicated. This movie speaks of beauty, loss, self-discovery and leaves us with nothing but memories and a pronounced mark on the mind. It belongs to a different level of reality and projects emotions in an odd hazardous light.
It's one of those films where seemingly not much actually happens, but the director's use of first-person camera within the story grabs the attention of the pre-Internet audience. In 1989, only two years prior to Tarantino's arrival, it awakened the audience to the possibilities of low-budget filmmaking and became influential in revolutionizing the independent film movement in the early 1990s.
Imagine if you were suffering from Short Term Memory Loss. You wouldn't remember anything prior to ten minutes right? Well, watching this movie gives similar vibes. The innovative episodic structure tells you what's going on now and goes on for the next 10 minutes without giving you any clue about the past. The whole movie is narrated using many such 10 minutes sub-plots in a reverse order. Christopher Nolan's modestly budgeted late-blooming hit managed to cross indie fence and enter into mainstream industry based on pure genius.
A coming-of-age film series where each film was shot after a period of nine years and the same time gap is portrayed in the movies as well. The deep romantic conversations that the couple has, the brilliant chemistry between the duo and their ideas and perspectives on life and love make the experience priceless. The characters aren't remarkable in any sort of spectacular way. Still we care because we've watched them age.
Whiplash tells the story of a perfectionist teacher and his torturous relationship with one of his students, a drumming protégé at a prestigious jazz conservatory where the mentor is passive aggressive and the mentee craves approval. Beautifully shot, choreographed, written, and paced, the movie has only two lead actors who carried their roles brilliantly. For viewers, the movie feels more like a war film, than a music film. If you enjoy jazz or film scores, or movies for that matter, watch Whiplash.
In 1992, this movie transformed Quentin Tarantino overnight from an uncertain, unproduced screenwriter and part-time actor to the expert of non-linear thrillers. The magnitude of effect this one film has had on indie culture in the last two decades is, to say the least, overwhelming. The movie revolves around a simple jewelry heist that goes terribly wrong. With an alluring script, witty conversations and robust subplots, no wonder Reservoir Dogs is considered to be the greatest independent movie ever made.
Seven expert professors and a student. One room. An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman transforms gradually into a mysterious interrogation and then into the most engaging conversation you'll ever witness. Where other movies project a small piece of the big puzzle that is life, watching this one feels like holding the canvas of life and looking at the picture from a distance to get the whole perspective.