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Indie: An American Film Culture (Film and Culture Series) Paperback – April 4, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Indie makes a significant contribution to the literature on American independent cinema, one that is likely to reshape debates and discussions for several years to come. By broadening the definition of independent cinema beyond simple industrial formulations, Newman charts the contours of 'indie' as a particular taste culture involving particular structures of distribution, consumption, and critical reception. By showing how companies built a niche audience of upscale consumers by targeting their "indie" sensibilities, Newman's book beautifully captures the multidimensional quality of American independent cinema in the nineties and 'naughts': its formal play, multicultural appeal, and 'branding' as off-Hollywood product.

(Jeff Smith, University of Wisconsin, author of The Sounds of Commerce: Marketing Popular Film Music)

Quirky, 'outside the zombie mainstream,' authentic, alternative, playful, self-conscious: these are terms used to define 'indie' cinema. In this insightful and cogent book, Michael Z. Newman gathers together a set of American films produced since the mid-1980s and considers them as a social art world: films created in a network of festivals and critical praise that collectively make particular viewing requests to elite movie-goers. As an intelligent approach to grappling with this complex phenomenon, Newman's argument is highly successful.

(Janet Staiger, University of Texas, Austin, and author of Media Reception Studies)

Michael Z. Newman captures the very essence of American independent cinema during the 'Miramax-Sundance' years. Through an emphasis on the viewing strategies that independent films invite their audiences to utilize, his study delves into the core of what makes this type of cinema distinct while also revealing the connective tissue behind the culture that produces and consumes it. Thorough and extremely engaging, Indie is a most welcome addition to the study of American independent film.

(Yannis Tzioumakis, author of American Independent Cinema: An Introduction)

...this concrete, objective study makes an important contribution to the ongoing coversation. Highly recommended.


About the Author

Michael Z. Newman is an assistant professor of media studies in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He blogs at zigzigger.blogspot.com.


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