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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Edge of Outside

Edge of Outside is a one-hour, original documentary about independent filmmakers (classic and current), their contributions to the art of cinema and the struggles they endure to accomplish their creative vision, evolving the medium in the process.

This well-crafted tribute to the fight for artistic freedom offers an intimate look inside the world of American independent cinema through a series of interviews, film clips and archival footage. Through these intimate moments the most recognizable icons of the independent film world discuss their trials and tribulations and the maverick filmmakers of the past and present that have inspired and influenced them.

Original interviewees include Martin Scorsese, Ed Burns, Spike Lee, Henry Jaglom, Arthur Penn and John Sayles. Other interviews include many of those who worked alongside such notable, original thinkers as Nicholas Ray, John Cassavetes and Sam Peckinpah. There is a satisfying mixture of reminiscence and dissection as all expound on what it means to be independent and the unique qualities inherent to those who have successfully achieved, through uncompromising determination, an enduring artistic vision. Edge of Outside is clear in the emphasis that an independent film is not simply a low-budget film, but instead, accurately defines the genre by the filmmaker’s ability to convey an individual vision through their creative approach, with limited interference from a higher authority, whether or not working within a studio system.

The number of filmmakers included in the interviews is impressive, although they suffer from a lack of diversity. Edge of Outside could have come up with at least one woman and more than just Spike Lee (kingpin that he is) to represent all of the cultural diversity available in the world of independent film. Still, Edge of Outside is a very intriguing, although brief (running time is just over an hour) look into a fascinating subject. Hopefully, this shortcoming indicates that this documentary is just the first in an anticipated series of original programs designed to celebrate the spirit of the independent filmmaker.

The TCM Documentary kicks off a month-long movie festival on the cable network dedicated to filmmakers who have worked on the edge of Hollywood.

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