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DVD Underground: Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947 — 1986

Cover to DVD collection Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film featuring stills from filmmakers like Shirley Clarke and Christopher Maclaine

Official Description: In the years following World War II, a new generation of Americans experimented with cinema. Some came to filmmaking from painting or sculpture; others from music, anthropology, photography, or political activism. A few took up the camera to create art with friends. Armed with inexpensive 16mm and 8mm equipment, these filmmakers started from scratch and pushed film in directions it had never gone before. Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986 presents 26 films by artists who helped to redefine cinema. It is the first anthology of the period available on DVD.

The 5-1/4 hour, 2-disc anthology, distributed by Image Entertainment, samples an array of film types and styles, from abstract animation to documentary, and balances acknowledged classics with rediscoveries. The films are drawn from the preservation work of five of America’s foremost avant-garde archives—the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Anthology Film Archives, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, and the Pacific Film Archive. None of the titles has been available before on good-quality video in the United States.

Distributors: Image Entertainment | National Film Preservation Foundation

Availability: Amazon


  1. Bruce Baillie, Here I Am (1962)
  2. Wallace Berman, Aleph (1956–66?)
  3. Stan Brakhage, The Riddle of Lumen (1972)
  4. Robert Breer, Eyewash (1959)
  5. Shirley Clarke, Bridges-Go-Round (1958)
  6. Joseph Cornell, By Night with Torch and Spear (1940s?)
  7. Storm De Hirsch, Peyote Queen (1965)
  8. Hollis Frampton, (nostalgia) (1971)
  9. Larry Gottheim, Fog Line (1970)
  10. Ken Jacobs, Little Stabs at Happiness (1959–63)
  11. Lawrence Jordan, Hamfat Asar (1965)
  12. George Kuchar, I, An Actress (1977)
  13. Owen Land, New Improved Institutional Quality: In the Environment of Liquids and Nasals a Parasitic Vowel Sometimes Develops (1976)
  14. Standish Lawder, Necrology (1969–70)
  15. Saul Levine, Note to Pati (1969)
  16. Christopher Maclaine, The End (1953)
  17. Jonas Mekas, Notes on the Circus (1966)
  18. Marie Menken, Go! Go! Go! (1962-64)
  19. Robert Nelson & William T. Wiley, The Off-Handed Jape…& How to Pull It Off (1967)
  20. Pat O’Neill, 7362 (1967)
  21. Ron Rice, Chumlum (1964)
  22. Paul Sharits, Bad Burns (1982)
  23. Jane Conger Belson Shimane, Odds & Ends (1959)
  24. Harry Smith, Film No. 3: Interwoven (1947–49)
  25. Chick Strand, Fake Fruit Factory (1986)
  26. Andy Warhol, Mario Banana (No. 1) (1964)

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