Underground Film Journal
More » Underground Film News

2006 Austin Underground Film Festival: A Report

Anarchist punk trying to start a revolution

My friend Mike Z has reported in to say that the Austin Underground Film Festival held on May 23 was “a blast.” Personally, I’ve always been interested in Austin since seeing Richard Linklater’s seminal Slacker, plus the AUFF sounded like it had a great lineup, so I’m not surprised Mike had a great time.

Mike, as noted here, had two films in the fest: Could This Be Real? and How to Start a Revolution in America. Mike counted six people walking out on Revolution and I found an appalingly humorless review of the screening online on MySpace. Revolution is a total riot and to judge the film on its cinematography and “plot” is to totally miss the entire point of the film.

Also found online is this Austinist dual interview with both Mike Z and Andy Gately, the founder of AUFF. As I’m always interested in doing, I’ve pulled out Andy’s definition of “underground”:

To me, “indie” just means non-studio, whereas “underground” has connotations of being from a dissenting viewpoint, because it’s only underground if it’s being marginalized. And right now, that just happens to be mostly liberal, progressive, confrontational stuff. It’s almost like escapism from Hollywood escapism. This can be realism, but can also be many more things. I’m just looking for honesty.

And here’s Mike’s take on his own work:

I’ve dubbed my films experiential — not to be mistaken with “experimental” — because I want people to experience the works through the process of discovery — first wondering if it’s real, then wondering what could possibly happen next, because once you don’t have a framework or a stated purpose, then anything can happen. I take advantage of that.