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Underground Film Guide Hits 50

The Underground Film Journal’s companion site, the Underground Film Guide, reached its first milestone today: The addition of its 50th filmmaker and 50th film! For a project I wasn’t certain myself I’d make it up to 20, I’m quite proud of the accomplishment, so I thought I’d share.

Back when I reached my 35th entry or so last month, I was shocked to discover that it hadn’t even occurred to me yet to add the Prince of Puke and the King of the Midnight Movie to the site. At that point it seemed silly to add him just willy-nilly, so I decided to hold off posting his entry until the big five-oh. So, UFG’s Mr. Number 50 is Mr. John Waters and Pink Flamingos.

My own personal introduction to John Waters, who has influenced so many modern underground filmmakers and many of the fine folks already listed on the UFG, was a screening of Hairspray in film school. I loved that film so much and since I hadn’t really heard of him before, I went to the college library and luckily found his first book, Shock Value, in the stacks, which was one of the funniest dang things I’ve ever read. My favorite part is still when he pretends to film a remake of The Wizard of Oz called Dorothy, The Kansas City Pothead when the local paper wants to do a feature article on him.

I saw Pink Flamingos for the first time just a few weeks later while working in a video store over the summer. The film was hidden in the dingy, poorly lit porn section. God hope those who thought they were going to be turned on by it. After that, for many years, I was a die-hard Waters fans, collecting all his books and as many magazine articles as I could find. I’m still a fan and I still like to link to interesting Waters stories here on the Underground Film Journal. So, I’m thrilled to have his entry finally up on my other site.

As for the Underground Film Guide, response to the site has been close to nil, to be frank about that. But, it’s still a young site. Out of the entire history of underground film, 50 movies and directors isn’t that much, really. There’s a ton more work to be done on the site to make it more user-friendly and such.

And now that I have hit 50, I’m going to switch things up a bit. Rather than keep doing one-filmmaker-one-film entries, I’m going to start adding second films for directors already listed in addition to continue adding new directors. So, it’ll take me a little bit longer to hit 100, but hopefully I’ll eventually get there, too.


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  • Rupert says:

    You should have entered the first Rootclip series, their first prize was dinner with John Waters. I mentioned John Waters to my film class the other week, and one student decided to explain who he was to the rest of the class who didn’t know … “John Waters, oh, he’s an Australian actor and singer originally from Playschool”.

    I tried not to think of the John Waters I know talking about going through the round window with Big Teddy (Bears, grrrrr!)

    Rupert