My aim in this thesis is to examine a corpus of six films as loose representations or investigations of various rites of passage: adolescence, death and life-choice. In order to do this, I will draw upon a synthesis of theoretical texts: primarily the film-philosophy of Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) (in particular his theory of crisis, cinematic time and thought) and the anthropological writings of Arnold van Gennep (1973-1957) and Victor Turner (1920-1983) on rites of passage. More specifically, I will focus on the concept of liminality as a state in which one is ‘betwixt and between’ (Turner 1995: 95) categories. Any rite of passage, as we will see, can be separated out into a tripartite structure: separation, liminality and re-integration. The films discussed in this thesis centre on the stage of liminality as one of inherent ambiguity, metamorphosis and transition. More often than not, the passage is not completed so the liminal stage is never resolved. As I will demonstrate in the following chapters, film is the ultimate medium for presenting crisis and liminality because its very essence as an art form is being as change. Through close analysis of the six films to be discussed, I will demonstrate that contemporary American Independent cinema has produced some of the prime examples of film as the medium of crisis, liminality, evolution, mutation or becoming-other. At this stage, I will outline the corpus of films to be examined in this thesis and then elaborate on the main theoretical framework I will employ in order to draw out the specificity and complexity of this kind of cinema.