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Underground Film Links: September 12, 2010

  1. This week’s Must Read is a long one, a real long one, but very much worth it. Writing for Off Screen, Media Studies professor Paul W. Salmon discusses the intense feedback loop of mainstream and website film criticism that simply reinforces the Hollywood system. If I hadn’t conceived of my “underground film loop” project before, I would have after reading this. For the record, I have no problem with the Hollywood system and love Hollywood movies, but that there’s slim to none discussion of outside offerings is sad. Salmon really gets into the specifics here, so that’s what makes the piece so great. (P.S. Thanks to Professor Tryon for turning me onto the article.)
  2. Here we go again: A longtime Melbourne Underground Film Festival stalker has been trying to get people to listen to his insane rants against the fest and its founder Richard Wolstencroft. Luke Buckmaster first printed up the insane charges, but then finally let Wolstencroft rebuke and put the record straight. And you thought using “anonymous sources” was just a dumb strategy of Washington reporters. Buckmaster is right that serious charges should be investigated, but taking anonymous cranks seriously and printing their charges first without talking to the accused is as dumb as taking leads from people posting angry Tweets.
  3. In nicer Australian news, the Brisbane Times profiles actor Noah Taylor — whom the Underground Film Journal likes very much, by the way — who stars as a not-very-appealing person in Red, White and Blue, which just closed the Sydney Underground Film Festival. Also, BT somehow manages to squeak in a mention of Oliver Stone’s South of the Border at SUFF in an editorial on politics and marriage.
  4. Know what’s awesome? When you read an official press release on a serious business site that includes the title Nude Nuns With Big Guns. The film will make its U.S. premiere at the Arizona Underground Film Festival later this month. I’ll have the lineup on the Underground Film Journal shortly.
  5. Experimental filmmaker Zach Iannazzi has recently revamped his website to share what’s on his mind, usually in the form of pictures and videos. Subscribe to his RSS feed! (Zach made the amazing To Be Regained, I reviewed as part of the ATA Festival last year.)
  6. Dangerous Minds posted up a brief profile of Underground Film Journal favorite Usama Alshaibi. And, yes, his films could totally be classified as “dangerous.”
  7. It’s set! Bill Plympton will premiere his latest animated feature, Angels & Idiots, at the IFC Theater in NYC on Oct. 6, then screen at the Laemmle Sunset 5 on Oct. 29.
  8. This is an old one, but just popped onto my radar this week for whatever reason: Back in 2004, the Cultural Society posted a long interview with Ken Jacobs in which he talks a lot about his very earliest days as a filmmaker.
  9. Making Light of It scans in a 1988 conversation between Jim Shedden and Bruce Elder printed in the Millennium Film Journal. Plus, the cover of the second edition of Stan Brakhage’s Metaphors on Vision by Mike Chikiris. And, Jacob posts up the 2010 Experimenta lineup.
  10. Don’t you just hate it when somebody beats you to the best idea ever? As a consolation, Andrea Grover’s new Curatorial Fellowship at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University sounds like fun.
  11. Hal Astell has a very positive review of the award-winning El Monstro Del Mar! directed by Stuart Simpson. How did Astell get his mitts on a copy of that? Color me jealous. Also, director Simpson tells Encore how Australian films can be made for cheaper, like his. P.S. Twitch has the film poster.
  12. Twitch also reports on the famous Austin Alamo Drafthouse theater/restaurant starting up a distribution arm to screen films in other people’s theaters.
  13. Bob Moricz heartily recommends the Spokane Flicker Film Festival for filmmakers to submit to.
  14. And here I thought a “spirograph” was just a fun toy I loved playing with as a kid. Learn the real history of this primitive moving pictures machine.
  15. Subvex wrote in to tell me that Amos Poe has signed on to participate in the Exquisite Corpse 8mm Film Experiment.
  16. Don Swaynos updates us on his latest projects. He’s a busy guy!
  17. Another busy person? Jonas Mekas posted up his list of events he’s attending in September.
  18. One of the events Mekas is going to is the display of a box left to him by Fluxus founder George Maciunas filled with all kinds of artistic goodies and rarities.
  19. What do film journalists read when they’re not writing or watching? Jack Sargeant tells us about a couple of books on his nightstand. Light reading these are not.
  20. The Phantom of Pulp keys us into the malformed beauty of the films of the late Japanese filmmaker Teruo Ishii, who directed films like Orgies of Edo and Horror of Malformed Men.
  21. Donna k. finally gives us the in-depth scoop on the Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then set recreation in Arizona.
  22. Electric Sheep has some highlights from the upcoming Raindance Film Festival.
  23. The Pictures has a long primer on the “greatest documentary maker in film history.” That would be Frederick Wiseman, if you were wondering.
  24. Film Studies for Free has embedded a bunch of fun filmmaking primers by Majestic Micro Movies. Deep focus! Shallow focus! Tracking! And more.

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