What Makes a Movie “Independent”? – Edge of Outside (2006)

Posted below is a very interesting 2006 TCM documentary entitled Edge of Outside: A History of Independent Cinema. Of course, it’s focus is mostly on American cinema, and for a documentary that is supposed to be a history it really spends very little time on the early days of film, focusing mainly on movies from the ’60s and later, but it is a very good overview of independent films and film makers from these eras.

One very interesting question that it raises – and one that fits neatly into the ongoing conversations surrounding the Steven Soderbergh address that I posted about earlier this week – is how exactly does one define “independent cinema”? Does it have more to do with where the money comes from – i.e. outside the studio system, or with the singular vision or voice of the film maker himself? However you choose to define it, and whatever your viewpoint on the current state of independent movies, the doc is certainly worth a look, and I’ll bet that once it’s done, you, like me, will come away with at least a couple more directors or films to explore, and that, in itself, makes it worth its 65 minute run time.

The documentary is broken into five parts on YouTube, which should flow into each other in the video below.


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