Underground Film Journal

Bruce Baillie

Bruce Baillie is a pioneer of the American underground film movement as both an experimental filmmaker and co-founding one of the most important institutions in the underground filmmaking scene.

Although born in South Dakota in 1931, Baillie is mostly associated with the San Francisco underground film scene that he helped to formally organize in the 1960s. With fellow filmmaker Chick Strand, Baillie threw a regular backyard screening series that eventually morphed into the distributor Canyon Cinema and the San Francisco Cinematheque.

Baillie's own films are typically experimental documentaries and serve as portraits of people or places that also sometimes combine elements of lyrical fantasy and/or poetic constructs. Several of his earliest films were also conceived and executed as documentary "news items" to be distributed by Canyon Cinema.

Learn more about this filmmaker at his website.

Watch Streaming Films By Bruce Baillie:


The Holy Scrolls (collection of semi-edited films spanning Baillie’s career)
Salute (1999)
Pieta (1998)
Roslyn Romance (Is It Really True?): Intro. I & II (1978)
Quick Billy (1970)
Valentin De Las Sierras (1967)
Show Leader (1966)
Port Chicago Vigil (1966)
Termination (1966)
Still Life (1966)
All My Life (1966)
Castro Street (1966) (DVD)
Tung (1966)
Yellow Horse (1965)
Quixote (1964-65, revised 1967) (WATCH)
The Brookfield Recreation Center (1964)
Mass for the Dakota Sioux (1964)
To Parsifal (1963)
A Hurrah for Soldiers (1962-63)
Here I Am (1962)
Have You Thought of Talking to the Director? (1962)
News #3 (1962)
Everyman (1962)
Friend Fleeing (1962, unfinished)
The Gymnasts (1961)
Mr. Hayashi (1961)
David Lynn’s Sculpture (1961, unfinished)
On Sundays (1960-61)


Robert Beck Memorial Cinema: January — May Screenings, 1999

Continuing into 1999 at the Collective Unconscious theater space in NYC, the RBMC — co-programmed by Brian L. Frye and Bradley Eros — went on hiatus for the first week of the year, but resumed on January 12. Below is a list of screenings from then until a May 18 event that celebrated the RBMC’s first full year of existence.

Anthology Film Archives: The First Screenings, 1970

After years of planning, the Anthology Film Archives first opened its doors in New York City towards the end of 1970. That opening came with great interest and fascination of how the world’s first “museum of film” was going to operate like no other theater before it.

Canyon Cinema Cooperative: Catalogue Number One

In December 1966, the Canyon Cinema Cooperative in San Francisco, California published their first Catalogue of experimental and avant-garde films to rent. This was four years after the Film-Makers’ Cooperative had begun distributing underground films in New York City.

Robert Beck Memorial Cinema: 1998 Screenings

Brian L. Frye programmed the first screening on May 12, 1998 at the Collective Unconscious theater space. The screening included the feature-length documentary Underground by Emile de Antonio about the left-wing militant group the Weather Underground

Experimental Film Coalition: The Monthly Screenings

This is Part Two in a series about Chicago’s Experimental Film Coalition; and covers their screening series. Formed in 1983, the Experimental Film Coalition started holding regular monthly screenings starting in 1984. The screenings brought to Chicago the work of independent, experimental filmmakers across the country, as well as screening local work.

Boston Film-Makers’ Cinematheque 1966-67: The Posters

In 1966, as the underground film wave was sweeping the country, a Boston off-shoot of New York City’s Film-Makers’ Cinematheque opened at a performance space at 53 Berkeley Street. Underground films were shown on weeknights, while on the weekends the space transformed into a music venue called The Boston Tea Party.

Quixote — Bruce Baillie

Quixote by Bruce Baillie. Finished most likely in 1965, but sources place year range 1964-1967. In Visionary Film, P. Adams Sitney says the film was “revised” in 1967; while in his “Movie Journal” column, Jonas Mekas wrote that the “final version” of Quixote was screened in New York City in 1968.