Sunday, November 21, 2010

Independent Films Of The Early Nineties

It's been a long and bumpy road for the Independent film. These day's most "indie" films are actually studio owned, and a bulk of the films that are actually financed truly independently never really see the light of day. In the early 90's a film produced on a budget of a million dollars or less had the chance to get actual theatrical play before it hit Home Video. The late 80's success of films like Sex, Lies And Videotape helped pave the way for these films in a new renaissance, and they soon became a great alternative to the growingly tiresome Hollywood blockbusters of the time. Did anyone seriously want a Lethal Weapon 3 or Hook? But not all that is Hollywood is lost. Thankfully some Studios who joined in the Indie game actually cared about producing good films.

A lot of independent films of the time got a good chance at distribution with the lure of pre-sales for Home Video. And that ironically was what helped peter them out after the mid 90's bum-rush. Every film seemingly wanted to capitalize on the now hot cache of male posturing and gun play, and these low-budget films became increasingly worse, flooding the Video Stores and losing the patience of devoted film watchers. It just became easier to release these things to Video than give them any kind of Theatrical release. And as a result, the Nineties would press on and the Independent film subsequently would lose it's spark. The occasional bright spot would pop up, but it just wasn't the same as that initial golden era of the early to mid-decade.

Here's a look back at those Independent Films of the early 90's... I included just a few foreign films (mostly from the UK & Canada) as I will be presenting a better list of them in the future.  For now, enjoy all the Indie movie goodness, back in a time when they reigned supreme!

The Early Indies 1990-1994:

 1995. The end.

Here's a list of some of the notable 
Indie Distributors of the time:

Avenue Pictures/Live Entertainment
Castle Hill Productions
Cinepix Film Properties
Cinetel Films
Fine Line Features
First Look 
Fox Lorber
Fox Searchlight
IRS Media
October Films
Orion Classics
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Seventh Arts Pictures
Skouras Pictures
Sony Pictures Classics
Strand Releasing 
Triboro Entertainment Group
Trimark Pictures
Triton Pictures

And a Look Back At Fine Line Features:


Rob said...

There are so many great films in this list (now I just want to re-watch them all) but best of all you included Shakes The Clown!!! Why haven't more people heard of this movie?!
Its fuckin' genius!

The Film Connoisseur said...

Wow, amazing collection of posters Cinema!

Bad Lieutenant, Ferrara's best I think. Though King Of New York follows closely behind if you ask me.

Was S.F.W. an indie film? Cant remember!

J.D. said...

Thanks for the sobering reminder of what a great decade the 1990s was for indie cinema. So many great titles and filmmakers. Nice to see you included MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO and MRS. PARKER & THE VICIOUS CIRCLE... definitely two of my faves from that decade.

Cinema Du Meep said...


Bobcat has now made 3 really fun, yet dark movies. Who knew he would be such a talented director?!

Film Connoisseur,

I believe Gramercy released it. So yes. It grossed something like 65,000 domestically. Though it became a minor cult hit on Video.


You're Welcome! Those are 2 great examples of Fine Line Features' outputs. They really stepped it up back then and released some quality films.

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