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Underground Film Links: March 17, 2013

Google Reader logo of multiple RSS icons

Whether you were aware of it or not, there was a major upheaval in the Internet last week that — among other things — seriously affects the Underground Film Journal’s links posts.

Once again proving the old adage “The Internet doesn’t owe you anything,” Google decided to shut down their Reader app for the reason, it is assumed, that it wasn’t making them any money. (They publicly claimed not that many people were using it anymore.)

For those who didn’t use Google Reader, it was a free RSS feed app that compiled and saved in a very organized, neat and helpful way the posts from the websites that one subscribed to. Plus, Reader had the ability to scan the Internet for keywords — like, lets pick two at random, “underground” and “film” — that would display articles from other websites that contain those keywords. Over the past few years, the¬†Underground Film Journal has found some pretty cool shit using this method.

But, that’s all going away. And, for RSS feed junkies like myself, there doesn’t seem to be any other product that works as well as Google Reader, even though there are several other readers on the market. I’ve been trying out Feedly, which works ok, but the interface doesn’t have the ease of use that Google Reader had.

So, Google built a great product, got people addicted to using it, then have killed it on a whim. So, remember kids:

The Internet doesn’t owe you anything.

(Says the guy who got several people hooked on weekly underground film links posts, then decided to stop doing them for personal reasons and only posts them occasionally now.)

  1. And now that we’ve returned this week with a links post, we’re going to open up with a doozy. After 8 months of silence, Boston University film professor Ray Carney has finally popped up and responded to accusations that he has been holding hostage the films and archival material of avant-garde filmmaker Mark Rappaport. And that response comes in the form of being well over 12,000 words. But, honestly, it’s quite a fascinating read. From the point of view of somebody who doesn’t know Carney, Rappaport, nor filmmaker Jon Jost, on whose website that response is posted and giving Carney the benefit of the doubt, his response is still dubious due to the fact that: 1. He opens up with an insult against Rappaport; 2. Casts himself as the lone moral light in a world filled with nothing but immorality throughout the entire piece; and 3. Uses as his “defense” only articles that he himself has written in order to prove he’s telling the truth without out once printing out one of Rapport’s emails that he says exists. It’s weird.
  2. Last point: Has anybody reading this ever read the comic book Cerebus? Carney’s rant sounds a lot like something Dave Sim would have written in his editorial pages in the second half of that series.
  3. The Chicago Reader reviewed several films at the historic 20th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival, including Jon Moritsugu’s return to filmmaking, Pig Death Machine.
  4. Melanie Wilmink on anthology films.
  5. According to Richard Wolstencroft, modern Australian cinema still sucks.
  6. Bill Plympton on the importance of having test screenings. Yeah, not just Hollywood does that.
  7. You, yes you, probably love 16mm film. David Bordwell and others wax rhapsodic on that format.
  8. Not underground: Recently I’ve gotten addicted to reading Mr. Fun, the blog of Floyd Norman, an animator who used to work for Disney. I think whether or not you’re interested in Disney history, Floyd’s recollections of just working in the animation field are fascinating and insightful, like this post titled “Artists Were Everywhere!

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