The Film: Gawky teenager Napoleon lies about hunting wolverine and helps to get his best mate Pedro elected class president with the help of Jamiroquai.Indie Cred: The kind of film built with its own cult immortality in mind, Jared Hess' debut lives on in a new animated spin-off.If It Had Been A Blockbuster: Napoleon would be a hunk.
Indie Cred: Shane Carruth’s physics-heavy debut is genuinely hard to follow, so much so that bloggers have invented diagrams to try to explain the plot.
If It Had Been A Blockbuster: Everything would be resolved with a big explosion.
The Film: Housewife Carol White (Julianne Moore) suffers from Twentieth-Century Disease, which gives her an allergic reaction to… Indie Cred: Maverick Todd Haynes flirted with linear narrative, only to produce something just as disconcerting as his earlier, weirder films.
The Film: Indie cinema bites the hand that feeds it, as aspiring director Steve Buscemi's latest shoot falls apart amidst narcissist stars and angry dwarves.
Indie Cred: Every movie movement knows it has come of age when it gets its own piss-take.
Watch it, and then imagine this is what happens behind the scenes of every other film on this list.
If It Had Been A Blockbuster: Things would have gone smoothly, because everybody knows nothing ever goes wrong on a Hollywood set. The Film: Campbell Scott plays a misogynist who attempts to corrupt his nephew (newcomer Jesse Eisenberg) in how to seduce and destroy.
Indie Cred: An exemplary example of the kind of two-hander indie cinema does so well, increasingly influential for introducing Eisenberg's geek chic to the movies.
If It Had Been A Blockbuster: Time for a boisterous The Film: Adaptation of Harvey Pekar's everyday spin on the comic book, about a grumpy, overweight Everyman who is the unlikely hero of his own life.
Indie Cred: An appropriately lo-fi antidote to Hollywood superheroes, and the breakout role of indie icon Paul Giamatti.
If It Had Been A Blockbuster: Harvey Pekar would have proper superpowers.