Wednesday, December 30, 2009


This coming winter term I get the opportunity to teach a film class called The Outsider in American Independent Cinema. I narrowed down about 50 films I wanted to screen to the following. Clearly, there are some pretty large holes in this list, but we'll cover a lot of material in the reading (and short clips). I still have a week to make some adjustments. Any suggestions? 

Shadows (John Cassavetes 1959)
The Connection (Shirley Clarke 1962)
Stranger than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch 1984)
Slacker (Richard Linklater 1991)
Ballast (Lance Hammer 2008)
George Washington (David Gordon Green 2000)
The Exiles (Kent MacKenzie 1961)
Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett 1977)
She's Gotta Have It (Spike Lee 1986)
Girl 6 (Spike Lee 1996)
Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash 1991)
Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden 1983)
Poison (Todd Haynes 1991)
Go Fish (Rose Troche 1994)
Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant 1985)
My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant 1991)
Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi 2007)
Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas 2007)

11 comments:

Sean said...

I see you took my advice re: She's Gotta Have It.

Zachary Schomburg said...

I did, yes. Thank you. There is a great essay by bell hooks on this film. It is worth screening just to read the essay.

I've now added these films to the mix too: Sin Nombre (Cary Joji Fukunaga 2009) and El Norte (Gregory Nava 1983)

Marshall Walker Lee said...

Z: I have seen all but a few of these, but until reading your post I had forgotten about Ballast! I wanted so badly to see this after reading about it's Sundance release and now I am determined to track it down. Why Shadows? Have you ever seen Husbands?

Jeff Morgan said...

Looks like a great list. Here are a few that might work:

Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song
(1971) Melvin Van Pebbles

Sherman's March (1986) Ross McElwee

Rebel Without a Cause (1955) Nickolas Ray

--Jeff Morgan

Tony said...

What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Half-Nelson
Wendy and Lucy
Thumbsucker
Lars and the Real Girl


These are just some random flicks that popped into my head after looking at the list you've already compiled. Should be a rad class!

Prairie said...

Heck of a list. Glad to see Charles Burnett and David Gordon Green in there.

Phill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phill said...

I know it might be passe, but Barfly and Factotum would both qualify, wouldn't they?

And you don't get much more outside than a drunken bum who can't hold down a job and likes to write poems nobody likes. You might even have a few students like that. And nothing makes things real like getting people to relate, right?

Patrick Lucy said...

This is prolly too late to be of practical use but I was thinking some Frederick Wiseman would fit well here - look to the institutions that define/shape the outsider in american society - "High School" or "Titticut Follies" for example.

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