American Independent Cinema in the Age of the Conglomerates

Yannis Tzioumakis

in American Independent Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780748618668
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670802 | DOI:
American Independent Cinema in the Age of the Conglomerates

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As the majors became one by one parts of multinational conglomerates in the late 1960s and 1970s, they gradually turned their attention to the production of fewer but considerably more expensive films with the potential to do spectacularly well at the box office. However, this trend created gaps in the film market which were exploited by independent distributors such as American International Pictures and the Samuel Goldwyn Company, which managed to carve a small niche, mainly for sensational /exploitation films and art-house films, respectively. The first part of the chapter discusses the effects of conglomeration on the independent film sector and cites a number of examples of exploitation and art film companies that benefited from these effects. The chapter then focuses on the development of new distribution outlets (cable television and home video in particular) and examines how they created a new demand for films in the late 1970s and early 1980s that created the conditions for the beginning of what has become known as contemporary American independent cinema. Case studies: Foxy Brown (Hill, 1974), Return of the Secaucus Seven (Sayles, 1980).

Keywords: Conglomeration; Exploitation; Blaxploitation; American International Pictures; Video market; Contemporary American independent cinema

Chapter.  11204 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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