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Feature
Amores Perros (2000)
21 Grams may have grabbed the Oscar headlines, but Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu perfected his techniques in overlapping storylines, stunning cinematography and the creative use of car crashes in this Mexican smash about three separate lives linked together by one common event. Remarkable for its stellar performances from a cast previously unknown outside their home country, for taking the fractured narrative to a whole new level, and for tackling subjects that studios avoid like the plague dog fighting, anyone? this burst like a firework on the indie world, and acted as a wake-up call to the US indie scene. You're not the only ones setting the pace now, guys.

Shadows (1959)
Inventing American indie cinema before QT was even born, writer-director John Cassavetes debut feature is a rough hewn landmark. Taking a subject matter that 50s Hollywood wouldnt touch with a barge-pole the tensions within a black family arising when a young woman (Leila Goldoni) starts dating white men Cassavetes ignores all the tricks of the mainstream to jazz up his simple story, instead opting for an almost home movie approach where you are allowed to get under the skin of the central character. It may seem somewhat dated now but as both a document of 60s Bohemian New York and the birth of American indie, this is essential.

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