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An independent film, or indie film, is a film that is produced outside of the Hollywood studio system, a series of oligopolistic practices by several major American film studios (MGM, Paramount Pictures, RKO, Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox) which controlled the production, distribution, and exhibition of films in the US from the early 1920s through 1950s. Though its oligopolistic practices were officially ended by the Paramount Decision in 1948, four of the five Golden Age majors (RKO is the exception) continue to exist as major Hollywood studio entities through 2008.
Though film production companies in other countries have at times achieved and maintained full integration in a manner similar to Hollywood's Big Five, the Hollywood system and style remain uniquely American in character and origin. As such, films produced outside of America are generally qualified as foreign rather than independent.
Independent films today are generally defined as American films financed and distributed by sources outside today's Big Six and its subsidiaries.
Notable Indie films:
- No Country for Old Men
- Requiem for a Dream
- Pulp Fiction
- American History X
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Kill Bill
- The Squid and the Whale (and many other very obviously indie films like this)
I find that 90% of my favorite films fall into this category. Discuss.