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The best independent movies ever made?

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9514__donniedarko_lEmpire, the British film magazine, has posted its list of the 50 greatest indie films of all time. (Link via USA Today’s Hip Clicks.) Yes, I know this list was designed to start arguments, but I can’t help myself. It’s a list that proves that the word ”indie” is now so broad and vague as to be almost meaningless.

Does Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets (No. 10), released by Warner Bros., really qualifiy as an indie film, except in terms of its aesthetic influence? Is Donnie Darko (left, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jena Malone) really the No. 2 indie film of all time?

The list is heavily weighted toward genre films, especially horror and crime films, which really makes you wonder if ”indie” is about artists making personal statements without studio homogenization, or just finding new ways to reanimate Hollywood genre conventions, creating B-movies by another name. By that logic, the greatest indie filmmaker of all time is Roger Corman, though I don’t see any of his work listed here.

Whaddaya say, PopWatchers? Which ”indie” films belong on your list?