Putting together Utne Reader provides many chances to
eavesdrop on special-interest groups and subcultures via their
magazines and newsletters. It's a special pleasure when one of
those publications is so well done that it jumps out of its niche
and becomes great reading for anybody. Independent Film and
Video Monthly is just such a magazine. Editor-in-chief Patricia
Thomson and her crew understand the inherent drama of small-bucks
cinema--young idealist with a movie camera struggles to put a
vision on film, against scary odds--and they infuse their stories
(even the technical ones) with at least some of this suspense.
Thomson et al also have a knack for picking fascinating profile
subjects--emerging artists whose pursuits range from straight
moviemaking to in-the-gallery video art. These people, and the
other gutsy folks the Independent pays attention to, are part of an
underground so vital that reading about them just might get you
excited about American culture again.