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Cinema of Outsiders: The Rise of American Independent Film Hardcover – September 1, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

As most contemporary moviegoers are aware, the indies (independent films) have been booming recently, with many like Pulp Fiction, Metropolitan, and Boogie Nights becoming major critical and box office hits. Levy (film and sociology, Arizona State Univ. West), a film critic for Variety magazine, first tries to define exactly what distinguishes the indie from a major American studio production and then examines the specific circumstances that have favored the indie boom. But the bulk of the book is a look at the directors or creators of these films and their work, both good and bad, and a survey of the various types of indie films being made. As the author hopes, this engaging look at the indies of the last 22 years will appeal to "educated people who go to the movies and are interested in knowing more about them." Highly recommended for public libraries and subject collections.AMarianne Cawley, Charleston Cty. Lib., SC
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Levy gives us a comprehensive examination of the American independent film movement, with a level-headed, in-depth assessment of the movies it has produced. This is an indispensable text for anyone who wants to understand the independent world."

-David Ansen ,Newsweek

"The most detailed and up-to-date book on independent cinema, an invaluable reference work."

-Molly Haskell,The Washington Post

"The time is ripe for an intelligent, informed, well-organized book on the world of independent cinema and Emanuel Levy has given us just that."

-Leonard Maltin

"Thoughtful and substantial."

-Stuart Klawans,The Nation

"At a time when independent American films are more visible and important than ever before, this is an invaluable study. Emanuel Levy's writing is wise, passionate, and amazingly well-informed."

-Roger Ebert
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 601 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press; First Edition edition (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814751237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814751237
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,027,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harvey S. Karten on December 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"CINEMA OF OUTSIDERS: The Rise of American Independent Film"
A BOOK REVIEW by Harvey Karten, film_critic@compuserve.com
Emanuel Levy, "Cinema of Outsiders: The Rise of American Independent Film," New York: New York University Press, cl999, 601pp.
Emanuel Levy among those who prefer the challenging, edgy, sometimes outrageous movies that are released outside of the Hollywood studios' network. The author of six books with yet another, a biography of critic Andrew Sarris, in the works, Levy is a senior editor with "Variety" magazine. He does not at any time come right out and declare his partiality to the indies, but his passion for the concept of non-mainstream cinema (or at least for the good ones) surfaces on every page. Ironically, "Variety," the slick trade publication for the entertainment industry which regularly promotes and writes about the biggies, should be the last place Levy wouldembrace as a home. Yet the critic--who
habitually knocks out prescient reviews of the latest pictures using that publication's popular jargon such as "pix," "thesps," and "helmers"--has an overall contempt for the safe, for the movies made strictly to appeal to the lowest common denominator and therefore bring in the big bucks for the studios. This is not to say that he glorifies the entire independent ouevre. Discussing three hundred films albeit not in great depth, Levy gradually unfolds to the reader what he likes and what he does not among indies released from 1977 to the present and has the same disdain for poor quality individualistic films as he has for the blockbusters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. Cipperly on December 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is quite comprehensive, and appears to be one of the better ones in its genre. It covers a lot of directors and explains the contexts in which they worked quite adequately. The index/timeline features in the back are a nice touch for people doing research.

The only thing I really disliked about this book was the author's tendency to go on and on about a director's particular film--just when you think he's said enough about the movie, a few more paragraphs follow, which after a while one ends up wanting to skip over. I can see where this might be a useful feature, but for me it tended to break up the continuity of the text.
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By Daniel Boatsman on March 13, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was made of paper and everything! Very readable!
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By Yogi on March 16, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good price, good service.
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