A funny if sloppy mockumentary about imaginary B-movie director Morty Fineman, The Independent has barely enough story to sustain its 93-minute running time. Truth be told, the movie's ostensible narrative -- about Fineman's attempts to find financing for the 427th addition to his oeuvre (a euthanasia rights-themed actioner entitled "Mrs. Kevorkian") -- is beside the point. The Independent's reason for being is the Fineman catalog. Scattered generously throughout the movie are clips from Fineman's diverse output, from the Siamese-twin Vietnam pic "Brothers Divided," to the budget-breaking epic that sunk Fineman's company, "The Whole Story of America." The movie also gets a lot of mileage from its gimmicky cameos: Interspersed throughout the movie are testimonials from luminaries such as Peter Bogdanovich, Ron Howard, and Roger Corman. Affectionate and knowing, The Independent would have been better off had it stuck with the mockumentary format straight through, rather than occasionally slipping into a straightforward plot. Falling short of the deftness and satirical perfection of This Is Spinal Tap, The Independent at its best nonetheless imparts the same spirit of smart mischief. Jerry Stiller, as the immortal Fineman, chews up the scenery with glee. Be sure to catch the end credits for the entire Fineman filmography -- some of the titles are keepers.