Underground Film Journal

Feature Article

September 9, 2018

The (Almost) Trial of Shirley Clarke

Shirley Clarke behind the camera directing The Connection

In 1961, Shirley Clarke finished directing her first feature film and debuted The Connection at the Cannes Film Festival to much acclaim.

Previously, Clarke had begun her creative career as a dancer before moving on to direct many well-respected short experimental films, such as 1958's Bridges-Go-Round. Clarke had always aimed her sights high with her career and, despite the improbability of a woman directing an independent feature film in the early 1960s, she accomplished just that.

The Connection was originally a play written by Jack Gelber and performed by New York City's Living Theatre in 1959. The plot revolves around a group of junkies waiting around one afternoon for their drug dealer to arrive.

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Online Cinema

August 25, 2018

Flight Paths — Robert Todd

Flight Paths by Robert Todd.

The Underground Film Journal mourns the passing of prolific experimental filmmaker Robert Todd, who passed away on August 18, 2018.

Todd was Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. During his lifetime, he produced an extraordinary body of work in the form of short, experimental films that primarily captured his environment in minute and poetic detail. Many of these films are available to view on Vimeo.

While the Journal never had any personal contact with Todd, his name has appeared dozens of times in the underground film festival lineups the site posted between 2006 and 2015. However, Todd had been making films since the early 1990s. On February 23, 1999, his film Speak: When There Are No Words screened at the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema in New York City.

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Featured Streaming


Wide thumbnail image for Broken

After losing his job as a telemarketer, a slacker returns to his childhood home to find direction for his life and ends up forging a deep bond with his older brother.

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