‘The Outer Edges’ is a unique long-form collaboration between Karl Hyde (Underworld, Tomato) and director Kieran Evans (‘Finisterre’, ‘Kelly + Victor’).
A seventy-minute film that tracks a peripheral route from north Essex to the Thames, ‘The Outer Edges’ documents a journey that follows the flow of the River Roding from its source to its conclusion at Barking Creek and along the Thames Gateway to Tilbury.
Stopping off variously at allotments, boxing clubs, Saturday markets and working men’s clubs, the film celebrates the vibrant energy and attitudes of the people living and working within London’s invisible borders — the unmapped boundaries that Hyde crossed each day to record ‘Edgeland’, his first solo album.
Says Hyde “The film is an extension of the journey that ‘Edgeland’ takes, one inspired by the positive vibes spread by the Olympic volunteers. And it’s about remembering what it was like when Rick (Smith) and I first moved to Romford – the welcome we received, the feeling of belonging to a tribe that was always positive no matter what the political, economic or natural climate; a tribe that always had an answer to every problem. The search for that energy led us to the zone where the city crumbles into fields. It’s a place that’s too often forgotten, one that rarely makes the news and never appears in travel brochures. Yet it’s somewhere that important history was made and where a rich and vibrant spirit is still alive. I felt it was time to remind myself of it.”
Drawing on the influences of inspirational psychogeographic films such as Patrick Keiller’s ‘Robinson In Space’ and Andrew Kotting’s ‘Gallivant’, ‘The Outer Edges’ is built around a series of stunning visual snapshots that explore the stories and reminiscences of real-life characters met along the journey. Cut to a soundtrack made up of Hyde’s tracks reworked specifically for the film, ‘The Outer Edges’ offers a fascinating insight into lives lived along the edges of London.
Kieran Evans is a filmmaker who working in both documentary and narrative genres. His acclaimed BAFTA wining debut feature ‘Kelly + Victor’ was adapted from the novel by Niall Griffiths.
Kieran’s previous work includes the iconic London film ‘Finisterre’, which he co-directed with Paul Kelly (and due for re-release by the BFI this summer to celebrate its tenth anniversary). He has previously made films with artists such Vashti Bunyan (‘From Here to Before’) & Manic Street Preachers (‘Culture, Alienation, Boredom and Despair’).
Of the film, Evans says “‘The Outer Edges’ began and ended with a series of long walks coursing river routes and motorway lanes along the edge of London yet stuck to a path that always kept the city at arms length. On each of these journeys, we saw extraordinary spaces in a state of flux and change that felt like a world away from the city on the horizon. The people we met along the way seemed to frame the places we passed through and gave it a character all of its own. With that in mind, ‘The Outer Edges’ is a film not about a set geographical route, it’s more about the people who showed us the way.”
A version of the film is available as part of the deluxe CD / DVD deluxe package of the album, ‘Edgeland’, released through Universal.