Underground Film Journal

Underground Film Timeline: 1990 — 1999

Timeline: Index

Below is a list of significant events and films in underground film history between the years 1990 and 1999.

Reference key:
J.S.: Jack Sargeant. Deathtripping: the Extreme Underground. Brooklyn: Soft Skull, 2008. (Originally published: London: Creation, 1995.)
P.A.S.: P. Adams Sitney. Visionary Film: the American Avant-garde, 1943-2000. New York: Oxford UP, 2002.
S.M.: Scott MacDonald. Canyon Cinema: the Life and times of an Independent Film Distributor. Berkeley: University of California, 2008.

1990

Major Events:

The sixth and final New York Film Festival Downtown is held. (J.S.)

Significant Films:

The Evil Cameraman by Richard Kern film still

U.S.:

Richard Baylor:
Thoughts From the White Walls (J.S.)
Dead Love (J.S.)

Jeri Cain Rossi:
Burley-Q (J.S.)

Su Friedrich:
Sink or Swim (P.A.S.)

Richard Kern:
The Evil Cameraman (1986/90) (starring Richard Kern and Jap Anne; soundtrack by Foetus) (J.S.)
X = Y (starring Casandra Stark) (J.S.)

Ari Roussimoff:
Shadows in the City (starring Jack Smith — posthumously) (J.S.)

1991

Significant Films:

U.S.:

Beth B:
Stigmata (J.S.)

Richard Baylor:
Dum Dum (J.S.)
Good Things Happen to Those That Love the Lord (J.S.)

Jeri Cain Rossi:
Anima Sola (J.S.)

Ernie Gehr:
This Side of Paradise (P.A.S.)
Side/Walk/Shuffle (P.A.S.)

Tessa Hughes-Freeland:
Playboy Voodoo (made with Ela Troyano) (J.S.)

Scenes From the Life of Andy Warhol by Jonas Mekas film still

Richard Kern:
Scooter and Jinx (aka Moneylove; released by Geffen Records on Sonic Youth video “Goo”) (J.S.)
Tumble (J.S.)
Nazi (J.S.)
Catholic (J.S.)
Horoscope (starring Holly Adams) (J.S.)

Jonas Mekas:
Scenes From the Life of Andy Warhol (P.A.S.)

Casandra Stark Mele:
Death of an Arabian Woman (starring Casandra Stark) (J.S.)

1992

Significant Films:

U.S.:

Beth B:
Amnesia (J.S.)

Black Hearts Bleed Red by Jeri Cain Rossi film still

Richard Baylor:
My Funny Valentine (J.S.)
Jesus Hates You (1990/92) (J.S.)

Jeri Cain Rossi:
Black Hearts Bleed Red (based on Flannery O’Connor short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”) (J.S.)

Barbara Hammer:
Nitrate Kisses (S.M.)

Tessa Hughes-Freeland:
Dirty (in collaboration with Annabelle Davies) (based on Georges Bataille’s Le Bleu Du Ciel (Blue of Noon, 1935/1957)) (J.S.)

Richard Kern:
The Bitches (starring Serbu and Annabelle Davies) (J.S.)
The Sewing Circle (starring Kembra Pfahler) (J.S.)

Jonas Mekas:
Zefiro Torma: Scenes From the Life of George Maciunas (P.A.S.)

Leslie Thornton:
Peggy and Fred in Hell (1984-1992) (In six parts) (P.A.S.)

Nick Zedd:
War Is Menstrual Envy (1990-92) (starring Steven Oddo, Kembra Pfahler, Mike Wilson, Ari Roussimoff, Annie Sprinkle, Ray) (J.S.)

1993

Significant Films:

U.S.:

Beth B:
Under Lock and Key (J.S.)
Two Small Bodies (adapted from the play by Neal Bell) (J.S.)

Richard Baylor:
Cirsium Delectus (J.S.)

Tessa Hughes-Freeland:
Elegy: For Jean Genet (expanded cinema performance with Ela Troyano) (J.S.)

Hated by Todd Phillips film still

Richard Kern:
My Nightmare (J.S.)
Detachable Penis (music video for King Missile) (J.S.)
Room 429 (music video for Cop Shoot Cop) (J.S.)
Body Bomb (music video for Unsane) (J.S.)

Todd Phillips:
Hated: G.G. Allin & The Murder Junkies (J.S.)

Charles Pinion:
Red Spirit Lake (J.S.)

Jim VanBebber:
My Sweet Satan (J.S.)

1994

Major Events:

April 19: At the annual membership meeting, Canyon Cinema officially changes its bylaws so that they can start distributing video works. (S.M.)

The first New York Underground Film Festival is held. The event was created by Todd Phillips and Andrew Gurland. Main feature is Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys, directed by Adi Sideman. (J.S.)

Also, this is the first year for the Chicago Underground Film Festival. (J.S.)

Pip Chodorov founds Re:Voir, a French company that distributes avant-garde and experimental films on VHS. (S.M.)

Filmmaker Earl Bodien dies. (S.M.)

Significant Films:

U.S.:

Tessa Hughes-Freeland:
Nymphomania (in collaboration with Holly Adams) (J.S.)

Richard Kern:
Lunchbox (music video for Marilyn Manson) (J.S.)
Love Is… (music video for King Missile) (J.S.)

Casandra Stark Mele:
The Anarchists (J.S.)

Ela Troyano:
Carmelita Tropicana (J.S.)

1995

Major Events:

The second annual New York Underground Film Festival is held. (J.S.)

Filmmaker Warren Sonbert dies. (S.M.)

Significant Films:

U.S.:

Eric Brummer:
Joanna Died and Went to Hell (J.S.)

1996

Major Events:

The Whitney Museum of American Art holds a retrospective of ’70s and ’80s post-punk NYC cinema, curated by Matthew Yokobosky and entitled “No Wave Cinema, 1978-87.” (J.S.)

Significant Films:

U.S.:

Beth B:
Visiting Desire (J.S.)

Douglas Buck:
Cutting Moments (J.S.)

Cheryl Dunye:
Watermelon Woman (S.M.)

Su Friedrich:
Hide and Seek (S.M)

Charles Pinion:
We Await (J.S.)

Yvonne Rainer:
MURDER and murder (S.M.)

Nick Zedd:
Smiling Faces Tell Lies aka Son of a Whore (J.S.)

1997

Major Events:

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MN) gets the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to start investigating NEA funding. Canyon Cinema, an NEA funding recipient, comes under attack for publishing pictures of elderly lesbians kissing in their film catalog and eventually loses nearly all of its NEA funding. Also under investigation are distributor Women Make Movies and filmmakers Yvonne Rainer and Su Friedrich. (S.M.)

Significant Films:

U.S.:

Four Corners by James Benning film still

Beth B:
Voices Unheard (J.S.)

James Benning:
Four Corners (P.A.S.)

Huck Botko:
Fruitcake (J.S.)
Baked Alaska (J.S.)

Robert Pejo:
R.I.P.: Rest in Pieces (J.S.)

Ela Troyano:
Latin Boys Go to Hell (J.S.)

Tommy Turner:
Whack Is Whack (J.S.)

Jim VanBebber:
Charlie’s Family (1997) (aka The Manson Family (2004))

1998

Major Events:

August 20: Nick Zedd writes a new manifesto, The Theory of Xenomorphosis. (J.S.)

Significant Films:

U.S.:

Huck Botko:
Cheesecake (J.S.)

Carey Burtt:
The Death of Sex (J.S.)

Bob Judd:
Bovine Vendetta (J.S.)

Tommy Turner:
The Magician (co-directed with Jennifer Tull) (J.S.)

Nick Zedd:
Why Do You Exist? (1998) (has also been called Screen Tests and Brutes of Babylon) (J.S.)

1999

Significant Films:

The Psychotic Odyssey of Richard Chase by Carey Burtt film still

U.S.:

Huck Botko:
Graham Cracker Cream Pie (J.S.)

Eric Brummer:
Debbie Does Damnation (J.S.)

Carey Burtt:
The Psychotic Odyssey of Richard Chase (J.S.)

Bob Judd:
Jesse Helms Is Cleaning Up America (J.S.)

Nick Zedd:
Tom Thumb in the Land of the Giants (J.S.)
Ecstasy in Entropy (J.S.) (awarded a Chicago Underground Film Festival Completion Grant)