Underground Film Journal

Online Cinema

Watch amazing short films from the entire history of underground film in the United States, from the 1930s to the early 2000s. And, if you go far back enough into our archives, you’ll find modern short films, movie trailers, film festival trailers and other great video.


Blazes — Robert Breer

Blazes is one of Breer’s most well-known films and was created using 100 cards painted with “with bold, free-drawn shapes and rough calligraphic lines,” as described in Visionary Film by P. Adams Sitney.

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ISM ISM — Manuel DeLanda

ISM ISM is a documentary chronicling director Manuel DeLanda’s own graffiti work. He focuses on his collage manipulation of public advertisements — primarily cigarette ads — as well as spray-painted philosophical text.

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Swinging The Lambeth Walk — Len Lye

Len Lye visualization of the song links “the drums with bouncing circles, the piano with a sprinkling of coloured dots and rectangles, and the string instruments with vibrating lines,” as noted by Horrocks. The two thumbs-up images that bookend the film reference one of the dance’s signature moves.

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The Pop Show — Fred Mogubgub

Fred Mogubgub is primarily known for his television advertising work, but he also made underground short films that combined animation, illustration and live action, such as The Pop Show (1966).

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Divinations — Storm De Hirsch

Divinations was completed in 1964 at the same time Storm De Hirsch was finishing her only feature film, Goodbye in the Mirror. De Hirsch described the making of Divinations as saying she wanted badly to make an animated short, but didn’t have a camera available.

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Flight Paths — Robert Todd

Robert Todd was Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. During his lifetime, he produced an extraordinary body of work in the form of short, experimental films that primarily captured his environment in minute and poetic detail.

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Offon — Scott Bartlett

Offon by Scott Bartlett is considered one of the first works to combine film and video together. It was celebrated upon its release for both its technical ingenuity as much as for its artistic integrity.

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Flight — Greta Snider

Flight by Greta Snider (1997). San Francisco-based filmmaker Greta Snider is primarily known for her unique spin on documentaries. At first glance, Flight may seem like a straight-up experimental film, but reading its official description by Snider shows the work’s documentary essence.

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Candy and Daddy — Anton Perich

Candy and Daddy by Anton Perich (1972). Starring: Candy Darling, Taylor Mead and Craig Vandenburgh. After living as a poet and a painter in Paris, France in the mid-1960s, Anton Perich moved to New York City, fell in with the Warhol crowd and made raucous videos.

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Turn Turn Turn — Jud Yalkut

Turn Turn Turn by Jud Yalkut (1965-1966). Jud Yalkut’s main contribution to the 1960s underground film scene was his cinematic documentation of multi-media installations and performance art “happenings.”

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