Underground Film Journal

Saul Levine

Portrait photo of filmmaker Saul Levine

Saul Levine is an American avant-garde filmmaker who has been working since the mid-1960s. Based in Boston, Levine has also been a longtime film professor at the Massachusetts College of Art. Film historian P. Adams Sitney has called Levine "one of the most underrated filmmakers in the American avant-garde cinema" and "one of the most influential teachers of filmmaking in the nation."

For the majority of his filmmaking career, Levine has worked primarily in small gauge film formats, especially Super 8, but also Regular 8 and some 16 mm. More recently, he has moved into digital video formats. Much of his single film works are part of long-running series, such as his "Notes" series, as well as his "Light Licks" and his digital "Driven (Boston After Dark)" series.

Saul's films, for the most part, can be classified as being very personal, almost diaristic, work in that they capture snapshots of his life and those of his friends and acquaintances. Many of his films also reflect his political activist work. For example, the first two films in Levine's "Notes" series offer portraits of his parents, while his seminal New Left Note documents the anti-war, anti-racist and women's liberation movements of the 1960s during which time Levine was the editor of "New Left Notes," the national newspaper for the Students for a Democratic Society organization.

Also, while Levine's Super 8 film work features plenty of rapid montage editing, his digital "Driven (Boston After Dark)" films are 82-minute single take films in which Levine chats with his film's subject.

Learn more about Saul Levine at his official website and watch several of his films on Vimeo.

Watch Streaming Films By Saul Levine:


Dream Lover Dream (2015)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Lana Caplan (2013)
Falling Notes Unleaving (2013)
Light Licks: Daily Camera (2011)
Light Licks: By the Waters of Babylon: This May Be the Last Time (2011)
Light Licks: By the Waters of Babylon: I Want to Paint It Black (2011)
Pillow Filled With Tears (2009-2010)
Thanksgiving and No Turkey (2009-2010)
Post Script 1 (2009-2010)
Post Script 2 (2009-2010)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Ed Childs (2009-2010)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Caitlin Corbet (2008)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Adrianne Jorge (2008)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Maria Sosa (2008)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Katha Washburn (2008)
Dreams and Apparitions of Mark Lapore (2006 – 2007)
Child Bride (2006 – 2007)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Asma Kazmi (2005)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Janis Putns (2005)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Kristen Kenny (2004)
Light Licks: By the Waters of Babylon: In the Hour of the Angels (2004)
Light Licks: By the Waters of Babylon: Jamming (2004)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Kim Keown (2003)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Nancy Golden (2003)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Tracy MacCullion (2002)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Joe Gibbons I (2002)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Joe Gibbons II (2002)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Nabil Khaid (2002)
Driven (Boston After Dark) Series: Victoria Goodheart (2002)
911-Serra’s Morning (2001)
Off Selexa (2001)
Dream Story (2001)
Tascannini Sidewalk Café (2001)
Detour (2001)
Light Licks: Born Under a Bad Sign (2001)
Kibitzer (2000)
Yoren (2000)
Whole Note (1999-2000)
Light Licks: Get It While You Cant (1999-2000)
Light Licks: I Saw the Light Praise the Dark (1999-2000)
Light Licks: az sent (1999-2000)
Light Licks: Only Sunshine (1999-2000)
Light Licks: All that’s solid (1999-2000)
Light Licks: Melts Into Air (1999-2000)
Double Trouble (1998-99)
August Moon and Sea (1997-98)
Sadgun (1997)
C-C-Caw (1997)
Fly Note to Alya Romero and Stephanie von Clemm (1997)
Still Light Writing Still (1997)
Fly Note Entry: Entrance (1995-97)
Fly Note Entry: Break the Lock (1995-97)
Fly Note Entry: Last Gleaming (1995-97)
Fly Note Entry: Rite (1995-97)
Fly Note Entry: Cook Cooking Looking Look (1995-97)
Note to Tetsua (1995-96)
Rolls and Stumbles with Cherries in the Middle for Pelle Lowe and Luther Price (1991-1996)
As Is Was (1992-95)
And So Forth (1995)
Light Hit (1995)
Cresecent (1993)
Z (zee not zed)(1992-93)
Spun (1992)
Ready-Made with Pelle Lowe (1992)
Is As Is (1991)
As Is Is (1991)
Later Later Dutch Master Later (1986-91)
Departure (1976-91)
Preview (1989)
Submission (1989) (with Mark LaPore)
Notes After Long Silence (1984-89)
Shmateh IV (1986)
Scrape (1986)
Shmateh III (1984)
Bio Note M.M. (1984)
A Few Tunes Going Out: Bopping the Great Wall of China Blue (1978-84)
A Few Tunes Going Out: Groove to Groove (1978-84)
A Few Tunes Going Out: A Brennen Soll Columbus N Medina (1978-84)
Shmateh II (1983)
Shmateh I (1983)
Note to Poli (1982-83)
Breaking Time: A Portrayal in 4 Parts and 3 Reels: Mortgage on My Body (1978-1983)
Breaking Time: A Portrayal in 4 Parts and 3 Reels: Arrested (1978-1983)
Breaking Time: A Portrayal in 4 Parts and 3 Reels: Lien on My Soul (1978-1983)
Breaking Time: A Portrayal in 4 Parts and 3 Reels: Portrait Not a Dream (1978-1983)
Raps and Chants, Part One (1981-82)
Raps and Chants, Part Two (1981-82)
New Left Note (1968-82)
Time to Go to Work (1978)
Portrayal: Fisher (1978)
Portrayal: Sad But True Vaeterans Still Need Jobs (1978)
Nearsight (1977-78)
On Guard (1977-78)
Twilight Portrayal: Sheryl Kaye (1977-78)
Unemployment Portrayal (1977-78)
Portrayal: Gardening (1976-78)
Portrayal: Memorial Day Weekend (1975-78)
Charlatan (1976-77)
Rambling Notes (1976-77)
Resume (1976-77)
Notes of an Early Fall (Part I & II) (1976)
Note to Colleen (1974)
On the Spot (1973)
The Big Stick/An Old Reel (1967-73)
Note Chicago Reds and Blues (1972)
Note to Pati (1969)
Lost Note (1968-69)
Star Film (1967-1969)
Note One (1968)
Note to Erik (1966-68)
Cats Cradle Harp Wind Lock Heart (1967)
Sarafree Sara (1967)
Saul’s Scarf (1966-67)
Tear/or (1966-67)
WENDO (1965-67)
The Queen of Night Gotta Box of Light (1965-66)
Salt of the Sea (1965)
Judy’s Dream (1965)
Yellow McVane Red (1965)
Ivan’s Scarf (1965)


Short Film: Saul Levine’s On The Spot

Saul Levine’s On the Spot is a terrific example of the state of the experimental film in the early 1970s. Made in 1973, it is a structuralist piece reflecting on the filmmaker’s environment using the then popular single frame shooting technique.

2013 Media City: Official Lineup

The 19th annual Media City experimental film and video festival in Windsor Ontario is featuring a retrospective of Saul Levine, James Benning’s feature-length Stemple Pass and short films by Kevin J. Everson, Fern Silva, Robert Todd and more.