The Semantics of Indie Film

In the last fifteen years, independent film has become big business, thanks in large part to Robert Redford’s Sundance Festival, and to Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax Studios. Still, current conventional wisdom holds that, far from elevating indie film to new heights, Sundance and Miramax have in fact dragged much of the indie scene down to Hollywood’s shallow level. But has “independent film” really changed as a genre, or is it merely that we have broadened our definition of the term to such an absurd degree as to encompass directors and films which are in no way independent of Hollywood’s movie machine?