Underground Film Journal

Underground Film History

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Robert Beck Memorial Cinema: The Secret Origin

In 1998, Brian L. Frye was a transplant from San Francisco looking to open a new microcinema in NYC, having been inspired by Craig Baldwin’s Other Cinema at Artists Television Access and David Sherman and Rebecca Barten’s Total Mobile Home.

Experimental Film Coalition: The Monthly Screenings

This is Part Two in a series about Chicago’s Experimental Film Coalition; and covers their screening series. Formed in 1983, the Experimental Film Coalition started holding regular monthly screenings starting in 1984. The screenings brought to Chicago the work of independent, experimental filmmakers across the country, as well as screening local work.

A Look Back: The American New Wave 1958-1967

In 1983, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with Media Study/Buffalo, created a touring retrospective of avant-garde films, primarily feature-length ones and a few shorts, which they called “The American New Wave 1958-1967.”

Boston Film-Makers’ Cinematheque 1966-67: The Posters

In 1966, as the underground film wave was sweeping the country, a Boston off-shoot of New York City’s Film-Makers’ Cinematheque opened at a performance space at 53 Berkeley Street. Underground films were shown on weeknights, while on the weekends the space transformed into a music venue called The Boston Tea Party.

Jammin’ The Blues — Gjon Mili

Jammin’ the Blues by Gjon Mili. Completed in 1944. Gjon Mili is primarily known for his work as a photographer, particularly his portraits and experimental use of strobe lighting, much of which appeared in Life magazine.

Slippery Jim — Ferdinand Zecca

Slippery Jim by Ferdinand Zecca. The completion/release year of Slippery Jim varies among sources. The catalog for the 1947 Art in Cinema program dates the film as circa 1906. However, Richard Abel, a silent movie historian, gives two dates for the film.