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This is a really good documentary that discusses the independent film
movement and filmmakers. It mostly it just covers films from the United
States, and very briefly mentions Italian NeoRealism and the French New
Wave. The documentary covers a lot of the early "indie" filmmakers to
the latest indie movement.
I found it interesting to hear a number of independent filmmakers speak not only about their influences, but also about their experiences of working outside of the studio system.
If you like independent films or any of the filmmakers listed in the cast I'd say it's worth a watch since it's only about an hour long.
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
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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