An hour-long documentary designed to celebrate the spirit of the independent filmmaker from D.W. Griffith to Quentin Tarantino. Interview footage and film clips are blended together to form... See full summary »
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An hour-long documentary designed to celebrate the spirit of the independent filmmaker from D.W. Griffith to Quentin Tarantino. Interview footage and film clips are blended together to form a chronological approach to the subject matter. Profiles of important figures within the independent film industry include John Cassavetes, Stanley Kubrick, John Sayles, Woody Allen, Roger Corman, Samuel Fuller, Martin Scorsese, Orson Welles, Arthur Penn, Spike Lee, Peter Bogdanovich, Sam Peckinpah, Nicholas Ray, and Henry Jaglom. The documentary compiles new and stock interviews with important filmmakers including Cassavetes, Corman, Bogdanovich, Fuller, Scorsese, Welles, Penn, Sayles, Ray, Peckinpah, Lee, and Jaglom. The program also covers important movements in the history of independent cinema such as the Italian neorealism and the French New Wave. The documentary makes it clear in the emphasis that an independent film is not simply a low-budget film, but instead, accurately defines the genre ... Written by
maybe not long enough, but the history of independent film is too expansive anyway
I was glad I saw Edge of Outside, and I know if I was just starting to become a full on film-buff it would be very helpful in knowing which directors who not only worked independently of the studio system, but those who were able to be individualistic while still being in some sort of system nonetheless. As someone who knows almost all the filmmakers talked about or interviewed here, however, it's nothing new. Of course it's neat to hear about the early silent independents, like DW Griffith and Stroheim and Keaton, and it's always fine to hear the gushing over Cassavetes great body of work. But it's both a shame and a given that it would be only an hour long to cover such subject matter. It's for turner classic movies, so it's not like a PBS documentary special in its way of almost going too long into getting into subject matter.
So at only an hour, the one assembling the footage and interviews here probably had TOO much to work with, and thus had to whittle down to the essentials- the early silents I mentioned, plus Orson Welles, Cassavetes, Sam Fuller, Tarantino, Roger Corman, David Lynch, the influence of French & Italian cinema, and a few others amid the crowd (one of them the near forgotten Henry Jaglom). For what it's worth, the interviews- particularly by Scorsese, Bogdanovich, and at least one of the historians- are interesting. Though what is utilized is really just a brief rundown that could have gone more in-depth into each decade and each wave of films and how independents still struggle amid the biggest corporate landscape imaginable for filmmakers today. It's like a brief synopsis, though one that is still appreciated if for nothing else giving glimpses of great and struggling careers to those who may not know much about the likes of Fuller or Cassavetes or the real struggles of Welles.
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