American Cinema: Season 1, Episode 10

The Edge of Hollywood

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Very Good Episode
16 March 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

American Cinema: The Edge of Hollywood (1995)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Very good look at independent filmmakers who are on "the edge of Hollywood" and we hear why many of them decide to remain solo and not cross over to the studios. Spike Lee, Jim Stark, Carl Franklin, Tom Kalin, Julie Dash, Joel Silver, Sam Raimi, Jim Jarmusch, Joel & Ethan Cohen, John Turturro, Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino and Harvey Keitel are among the people interviewed in this tenth episode of the series. The first several minutes takes a look at the career of Lee as we learn about his first movie, his first studio job and eventually working with Warner for MALCOLM X, which the studio ended up cutting off the flow of money and the director talks about having to go to friends like Michael Jordan to get money to keep going. From here we hear from others who had to start off with small films and this includes the Cohen brothers talking about how studios often wanted them but then would balk at their story ideas. Franklin talks about never fully understanding why majors would come to him after ONE FALSE MOVE and Tarantino talks about how originally Reservoir DOGS was just going to be a 16mm, B&W movie but financing finally came through. This is a pretty good look at the life of an independent filmmakers and the choices they have to make when and if Hollywood comes a knocking. Overall this is a very good episode that gives one a good idea of the life in low-budget movies but also what all one has taken away if they cross that line.

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