Underground Film Journal

Underground Film History

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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… Read More…
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.
Experimental Film Coalition: The Founding
This is Part One in a series about Chicago’s Experimental Film Coalition; and covers the organization’s inception. In 1983, a group in Chicago, Illinois formed the Experimental Film Coalition to promote and provide support nationally for independent, avant-garde, experimental and underground filmmakers. In their hometown, the Coalition hosted monthly screenings, founded a long running film… Read More…
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.” To accompany the tour, a hefty catalog was produced that included notes on the films, essays by film historians and… Read More…
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. The Cinematheque and the… Read More…
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. In the book Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice, author Tad Hershorn goes into great detail in… Read More…
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. First, in his The Ciné Goes to Town: French Cinema, 1896-1914 (published 1998),… Read More…
Scorpio Rising: The 1964 Los Angeles Obscenity Trial
In the Spring of 1964, Los Angeles theater manager Michael A. Getz was arrested and placed on trial for screening Kenneth Anger‘s Scorpio Rising. Below are several articles the Underground Film Journal has found that follow the progression of the case. From the Los Angeles Times, March 3, 1964: Festival Entry Scheduled for Cinema’s Screen… Read More…