The Edge of Life

1984, 19:07 min, color, sound

Applying a documentary style to a fictional story, The Edge of Life is a contemporary day-in-the-life narrative that addresses the anxiety of urban life and the conflict between love and career. Z, a video artist, is torn between her boyfriend and her video work. Cohen follows Z along the streets of New York, as she shoots video, argues with her cameraman/boyfriend, and goes home to an empty apartment. Cohen's thematic use of the television, telephone, and answering machine underscores the isolation of Z's life; the electronic gadgetry substitutes for human interaction. Cohen re-shapes traditional linear narrative through her use of special effects, verite-style camera work, and visual leitmotifs. The mock soap-opera title both satirizes Z's dilemma and defines her role as the artist who works on the edge of society.

Director of Photography: Joel Gold. Associate Producer/Production Supervisor: Susan Lazarus. Music: Don Christensen. Co-producer: Rebo Associates. With: Margaret Whitton, James Eckhouse, Terry Iacuzzo.