The Independent

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"Morty Fineman. Artist. Visionary. Madman."
  • R
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 20 min
  • 5.9  (1,363)
  • 52

The Independent is a 2000 comedy film directed by Stephen Kessler and starring Jerry Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, and Max Perlich. The film is a mockumentary that follows the life of independent filmmaker Morty Fineman (Stiller) as he struggles to make a comeback in the film industry. Morty is a veteran filmmaker who made his name in the 1960s through a series of exploitation films. However, when he refused to conform to the popular trends of the 70s, his career took a nosedive. 30 years later, Morty is still trying to regain his footing and make a successful comeback.

The film opens with Morty conducting an interview with himself, where he talks about his past successes and struggles to regain his former glory. He has a loyal assistant, Paloma (Garofalo), who helps him navigate the challenges of the modern film industry. Morty's son and cameraman, Leon (Perlich), is also featured heavily in the film, documenting his father's journey back to the top.

The Independent is essentially a series of vignettes that showcase Morty's attempts to finance and produce his latest film, a semi-autobiographical work called "Mister Big Time." Along the way, he butts heads with a variety of characters, including Hollywood producers, agents, writers, and actors.

The film is filled with plenty of laughs as Morty and his crew encounter one disaster after another. They face budget constraints, uncooperative actors, and equipment malfunctions, all while Morty tries to maintain his artistic integrity. He even resorts to selling his beloved dog to finance the film. However, despite all the setbacks, Morty remains determined to succeed and sees this project as his last chance to make a name for himself.

The humor in the film is often absurd and tongue-in-cheek, with plenty of nods to the indie film scene. The cast performs exceptionally well, with Stiller delivering a standout performance as the cranky and eccentric Morty. Garofalo is also great as his loyal and sarcastic assistant, providing some of the film's funniest moments. Perlich, meanwhile, is the perfect foil for Stiller, playing his perpetually exasperated son.

The Independent also features a variety of cameo appearances from well-known actors, including Ben Stiller, Ron Howard, and Roger Corman, all of whom play themselves. These cameos add to the mockumentary feel of the film and help reinforce the idea that Morty is a veteran filmmaker who's been around for a long time.

Overall, The Independent is a quirky and enjoyable comedy that pokes fun at the film industry and independent film scene. Its mockumentary style gives it a unique feel, and the performances from the cast are top-notch. Fans of indie films and comedies will definitely want to check this one out.

The Independent
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 20 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (1,363)
  • Metascore