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Feature
Two Lane Blacktop (1971)
As much a testament to Godfather of American indie cinema Monte Hellman (he was the rain check director for at least two films on this list) as the film itself, this is his best effort behind the megaphone, and the best of the post-Easy Rider road movies of the '70s. On the surface it ticks a lot of clich boxes - European influence (Antonioni), absence of dialogue, arcless characters and an unresolved plot, but rather than coming across as pretentious, it's precisely this ambiguity - along with the avoidance of simply being a love poem to the open road - that continues to hold audiences.

Pink Flamingos (1972)
Let's get the dog turd out of the way first. Yes, Divine does wolf down a real live, freshly laid parcel of pooch poo in John Waters' trashy cult classic, but that's not reason alone for its place on this list. And it's not just it's rather shoddy production values either (independent doesn't mean badly made). Instead, Pink Flamingos is on this list because of the sheer chutzpah of Waters' story - two families compete with each to see who can be the most disgusting - and willingness to push back the barriers of tat, taste and what audiences were willing to tolerate waaaaay back in 1972. Without Waters, we might never have had the literal flood of jizz/piss/poo jokes that assailed us all in recent years. Believe it or not, but that's something to thank him for.

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