Underground Film Journal

Underground Notes


Canyon Cinema Cooperative: Catalogue No. 2, Supplement No. 1
In 1966, after six years of existence, the Canyon Cinema experimental film collective of San Francisco, California decided to start its own cooperative distribution center. Canyon made the announcement in the November ’66 issue of their News newsletter, citing that they would be following in the footsteps of New York City’s Film-Makers’ Cooperative that had
Film-Makers’ Cooperative: The First Films
In a letter dated June 1, 1962, the newly formed Film-Makers’ Cooperative offered their first list of films that were available to rent. Fourteen filmmakers were represented. The need to form a cooperative distribution center for what were then called “independent filmmakers” was made in a series of meetings in the autumn of 1960. The
Idiolects #2 (August to November 1976)
This is an article about the second issue of the avant-garde arts zine Idiolects. An article on the first issue can be read here. For a small publication with no advertising to support it, publishing on a quarterly basis was an ambitious and impressive achievement for Idiolects. This second issue covers avant-garde happenings in New
Idiolects #1 (June to August 1976)
In 1976, a crudely published fanzine devoted to the experimental film scene made its debut. It was called Idiolects and the first issue offered a definition of its name: “An idiolect is the language of an individual at a particular time.” That definition certainly could be applied to both the filmmakers covered in the zine
Kenneth Anger: 1966 Screening Of His “Magick Lantern Cycle”
The Magic Lantern is a device that dates back to the 1600s — and possibly the 1400s — and was used to project static images. According to the modern day Magic Lantern Society, Danish mathematician Thomas Rasmussen Walgensten was the first person to use the term “Laterna Magica” in the mid-1600s to describe his image
Flashback: 1994 New York Underground Film Festival
In 1993, after not being accepted into any major film festival of the time, such as Sundance, filmmaker Todd Phillips personally toured the U.S. and Europe with his first documentary film, Hated: GG Allin & The Murder Junkies. Following this experience, Phillips partnered up with fellow filmmaker Andrew Gurland to launch several initiatives to help
Robert Beck Memorial Cinema: 1998 Screenings
This is Part Two in a series of articles on the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema (RBMC). As detailed in Part One, the RBMC was an experimental film screening series in New York City, started by filmmaker Brian L. Frye. Frye programmed the first screening on May 12, 1998 at the Collective Unconscious theater space. The
Robert Beck Memorial Cinema: The Secret Origin
New York City has a rich history of short-lived, unorthodox screening venues and societies that have buoyed the underground film movement along from its beginning. For some examples, in the 1960s, there was Jonas Mekas‘s Film-makers’ Cinematheque; while the late ’70s had Eric Mitchell and James Nares’s New Cinema. In 1998, Brian L. Frye was
Experimental Film Coalition: Publications
This is the fourth and final entry in a series of articles on the Experimental Film Coalition. You can begin with Part One here. In addition to screening films in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois, the Experimental Film Coalition published two different periodicals in support of experimental filmmaking and filmmakers. The Underground Film Journal has,
Experimental Film Coalition: Onion City Film Festival
This is Part Three in a series about Chicago’s Experimental Film Coalition; and covers their annual experimental film festival. You can read Part One here and Part Two here. In addition to their monthly screenings, the Coalition founded what was initially called either the Festival of Experimental Film or the Experimental Film Festival. The first