Beginning in the early 1960s, one of the main venues where audiences could watch underground films outside of New York City was the midnight movie screening series called Underground Cinema 12.
One of filmmaker Stan Vanderbeek’s most famous articles is “The Cinema Delimina” published in the Summer 1961 edition of Film Quarterly (vol. XIV no. 4), in which he is the first person to use the term “underground” to refer to what was then mostly referred to as “experimental cinema.”
Here are the screenings for December 10-30, 1970 of the Anthology Film Archives. The Anthology’s original plan was to have three screenings every night of films from their Essential Cinema Repertory Collection, so that each film in the collection would screen once every month.
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.
In 1966, after six years of existence, the Canyon Cinema experimental film collective of San Francisco, California started its own cooperative distribution center, first listing films in the November ’66 issue of their News newsletter
In a letter dated June 1, 1962, the newly formed Film-Makers’ Cooperative offered their first list of films that were available to rent. Fourteen filmmakers were represented.
In 1976, a crudely published fanzine devoted to the experimental film scene made its debut. It was called Idiolects and the first issue offered a definition of its name: “An idiolect is the language of an individual at a particular time.”
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
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.
In 1983, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with Media Study/Buffalo, created a touring retrospective of avant-garde films, primarily feature-length ones and a few shorts, which they called “The American New Wave 1958-1967.”