The return of June (and my return to NYC) marks the start of another Summer in the City session at The New School where I am again teaching a course entitled, "The Art and Industry Of American Independent Cinema." This year, there are 18 students watching and talking about movies with me in the morning and then learning about film production in the afternoon with Hope Hall and Lisa Robinson.
While I've re-arranged the syllabus quite a bit, yesterday, we kicked off the program as we did last year...at a breakfast orientation and after introductions, we watched the first 10 minutes of John Waters' "Pink Flamingos" and then a surprise screening of a film from the 80s that I shouldn't disclose (since it can't be screened for legal reasons)... Today we talked about the term "independent" and one student wondered what the purpose of such a discussion is, and we watched Jim Jarmusch's "Stranger Than Paradise".
This year's primary text is Geoff King's American Independent Cinema (Indiana University Press, 2005), while we spent a bit of time referencing John Pierson's Spike Mike Reloaded. And, following are a few links to articles that we are reading as additional online resources for the first two sessions:
- Gentlemen prefer Haynes (Film Comment)
- "Pink Flamingos" Movie Review (The Advocate)
- Mr. Bad Taste Goes Respectable (US News/World Report)
- Are the U.S.A.'s Independent Films a Distinct National Cinema? (The Film Journal)
- The State Of Independence '69-'99 (Interview)