Among the topics discussed, was the notorious American Independent Cinema and how it was born and developed.
It was right after the 50s when the big studios finally found an equal rival, with mini-major studios appearing and independent production companies competing with the big players.
Different generations of directors rise:
The 60s generation: Complies with the classic Hollywood traditions but also mixes them up with European Art Cinema. Eg. Robert Altman, Arthur Pen («Bonnie & Clyde», 1967), «Easy Rider» (1969 by Dennis Hopper)
These films showed that there was an audience that could relate to the Cahiers du Cinema of the French reformists. It was a younger, better educated audience that grew up watching TV and could relate to cinema terms.
Main characteristics are that the director has full control of his work; the independent film directors do not share a common vision ideologically or aesthetically. Jim Jarmusch films are a completely different type comparing with Spike Lee's. These are young, talented directors with fresh ideas, addressing to a more educated audience vs the mainstream films that are addressing to a mass audience. Due to lower investment from the producers, the pressure towards the directors is less, thus they are more free to pursue their vision. Less money means fewer options in terms of cast & location. This actually turns out to be an advantage. For example, in Jarmusch’s Stranger than Paradise, due to low budget and limited filming time, the film's scenes are each a single shot, followed by a few seconds of black screen. This actually became his characteristic.
There are many worthy independent filmmakers, but the most legendary are John Cassavetes and Jim Jarmusch.
Some of his most famous films are Shadows (1959), Faces (1968), Husbands (1970), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), A woman under the influence (1974) The killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) and Opening Night (1977).