Underground Film Journal

Underground Film Archive: Books

List of books in the collection of the Underground Film Archive. Some of these books are general film history and not specific to the underground. Brief descriptions are used to give a brief feel of what each book is about

2020: Hard Times In The Anarchist Jurisdiction

  • By David F. Walker. Collection of ’70s exploitation movie posters satirically altered to poke fun of 2020 politics. Self-published, no date given but either 2020 or 2021.

4 Screenplays Of Ingmar Bergman

  • By Ingmar Bergman. Screenplays of Wild Strawberries, The Magician, The Seventh Seal, and Smiles of a Summer Night. Published by Touchstone, 1989. (Technically the author is Ingmar Bergman, of course, but book has no overseeing Editor listed.)

Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View Of Hollywood And Screenwriting

  • By William Goldman. Memoir of Goldman’s experiences as a Hollywood screenwriter. Published by Warner Books, 1984. (First paperback printing.)

Alien Creatures

  • By Richard Siegel and J-C Suarés. Paperback coffee table book on the history of sci-fi movie serials and movies. Published by Addison House, 1978.

The Avant-Garde Film: A Reader Of Theory And Criticism

BadAzz MoFo

  • By David F. Walker. Collection of articles on blaxploitation cinema from the self-published zine BadAzz MoFo. Published by Drapetomedia, LLC, 2021.

Bike Boys, Drag Queens, And Superstars: Avant-Garde, Mass Culture, And Gay Identities In The 1960s Underground Cinema

  • By Juan A. Suarez. Analyzes the films of Kenneth Anger, Jack Smith, and Andy Warhol in the context of the broader culture. Published by Indiana University Press, 1996.

The Black Hole of the Camera: The Films of Andy Warhol

The Brakhage Lectures

  • By Stan Brakhage. Printed lectures by Brakhage on Georges Melies, David Wark Griffith, Carl Theodore Dreyer, and Sergei Eisenstein. Published by The GoodLion, 1972.

By Any Means Necessary

  • By Spike Lee, with Ralph Wiley. Oral history of the making of Lee’s Malcolm X, including the film’s screenplay. Published by Hyperion, 1992.

Canyon Cinema: The Life And Times Of An Independent Film Distributor

  • By Scott MacDonald. History of Canyon Cinema. Published by University of California Press, 2008.

Captured: A Film/Video History Of The Lower East Side

  • By Clayton Patterson. Personal and historical stories of filmmaking scenes in New York City. Published by Seven Stories Press, 2008.

Cover To Cover

  • By Michael Snow. Photographs by Snow intended to be viewed as a film in book form. Published by Light Industry and Primary Information, 2020. (Reprint of edition originally published by Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1975.)


  • By John Waters. Essays on popular culture by Waters. Published by Random House, Inc., 1987.

Deathtripping: The Extreme Underground

Down And Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, And The Rise Of Independent Film

  • By Peter Biskind. History of the independent film business of the 1980s and ’90s. Published by Simon & Schuster, 2004.

Dwoskino: The Gaze Of Stephen Dwoskin

  • Edited by Rachel Garfield and Henry K. Miller. The life and career of underground filmmaker Stephen Dwoskin. Published by LUX, 2022.

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How The Sex-Drugs-And-Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood

  • By Peter Biskind. History of the young filmmakers of the 1970s who transformed the movie business. Published by Touchstone, 1998

The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction Movies

  • By Phil Hardy. Coffee table book containing brief entries of science-fiction films. Published by Woodbury Press, 1984.

The Encyclopedia Of Underground Movies

  • By Phil Hall. Essays on cult movies and filmmakers favored by the author. Published by Michael Wiese Productions, 2004. Read the book review.

The Essential Cinema: Essays On Films In The Collection Of Anthology Film Archives

  • Edited by P. Adams Sitney. Includes a history and list of the films in the Anthology Film Archives’s Essential Cinema collection; plus 14 essays on several of those films. Published by Anthology Film Archives and New York University Press, 1975.

Expanded Cinema

  • By Gene Youngblood. An examination of new technological methods of projecting experimental film and video. Published by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1970.

Experimental Cinema: A Fifty-Year Evolution

  • By David Curtis. A history of global avant-garde filmmaking, including a section on the co-op distribution movement formed in the 1960s. Published by Universe Books, 1971.

Eyes Upside Down: Visionary Filmmakers And The Heritage Of Emerson

  • By P. Adams Sitney. Analysis of the work of eleven avant-garde filmmakers and how they work in the ideals of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Published by Oxford University Press, 2008.

Film 67/68: An Anthology By The National Society Of Film Critics

  • Edited by Richard Schickel and John Simon. Collection of mainstream film reviews, but does include the essay “The Underground Film” by Brad Darrach. Published by Simon and Schuster, 1968. (2nd paperback printing.)

Film As A Subversive Art

  • By Amos Vogel. Breaks down different subversive themes found in independent worldwide cinema. Published by Random House Inc., 1974.

Film Culture Reader

  • Edited by P. Adams Sitney. Reprints articles from Film Culture magazine, from issues 1 to 42. (Range of issues not verified.) Published by Cooper Square Press, 2000. A reprint from original edition published in 1970.

Film Is: The International Free Cinema

  • By Stephen Dwoskin. An overview of the underground film scene. Published by The Overlook Press, 1985. Second paperback printing. Originally printed in 1975.

The Films of Doris Wishman

  • Edited by Peggy Ahwesh. Reprint of a 1995 zine. Published by Inpatient Press / Light Industry, 2019.

Flesh and Excess: On Underground Film

  • By Jack Sargeant. An examination of body-focused and transgressive films. Published by Amok Books, 2015.

The Florida Project

  • By J.J. Murphy. Traces the making of the indie feature film The Florida Project by director Sean Baker. Published by University of Texas Press, 2021.

The George Kuchar Reader

  • Edited by Andrew Lampert. A compilation of writings, comic strips, drawings, photographs and other ephemera by filmmaker George Kuchar. Published by Primary Information, 2014.

I Had Nowhere To Go

  • By Jonas Mekas. Personal diary entries by Mekas from 1944-55. Published by Spector Books, 2020. Second edition. Originally published 1991.

I Seem To Live: The New York Diaries Vol. 1 1950-1969

  • By Jonas Mekas. Personal diary entries by Mekas from 1950-69. Published by Spector Books, 2019.

I Shot Andy Warhol

  • By Mary Harron and Daniel Minahan. Screenplay of the film I Shot Andy Warhol directed by Harron. Includes Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto. Published by Grove Press, 1996.

Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers Du Cinemart Collection

  • Edited by Mike White. Collection of articles from the self-published zine Cashiers Du Cinemart, which covered the world of cult movies. Published by Bear Manor Media, 2010.

An Introduction To The American Underground Film

  • By Sheldon Renan. History of worldwide avant-garde and experimental filmmaking, plus profiles of essential 1960s underground filmmakers. Published by E.P. Dutton & Company, Inc., 1967. Read book review.
  • Also have international version The Underground Film: An Introduction To Its Development In America, published by Studio Vista London, 1968.
Book cover to An Introduction the American Underground Film
Book cover to The Underground Film

Italian Cinema: From Neorealism To The Present

  • By Peter Bondanella. History of Italian commercial cinema from 1895 to the early 1980s. Published by Continuum Publishing Company, 1988. Sixth printing.

Joe Bob Goes To The Drive-In

  • By Joe Bob Briggs (John Bloom). Reviews of exploitation movies originally published in The Dallas Times Herald. Published by Delacorte Press, 1987.

Landscape Of Moving Images: A Compendium Of Prairie Cinema

  • Edited by Melanie Wilmink and Solomon Nagler. Essays and artist projects by Canadian filmmakers. Published by Gaspereau Press, 2021.

Low Impact Filmmaking: A Practical Guide To Environmentally Sound Film & Video Production

  • By Larry Fessenden with Michael Ellenbogen. Tips to make your film production environmentally friendly. Published by Glass Eye Pix, 1993.

Me And You And Memento And Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work

  • By J.J. Murphy. Analysis of the screenplay structures of several independent films. Published by Continuum, 2007.

Midnight Movies

  • By J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum. Traces the growth of late night underground film screenings to the midnight movie phenomenon of the 1970s. Published by Harper & Row, Publishers, 1983.

Monster And Horror Movies

  • By Thomas G. Aylesworth. Coffee table book on the history of horror movies by subgenre. Published by Gallery Books, 1986.

Monster Mash: The Creepy, Kooky Monster Craze In America 1957-1972

  • By Mark Voger. History and analysis of how classic horror movies broadcast on TV created a monster phenomenon in American culture. Published by TwoMorrows Publishing, 2015. Second printing.

The Most Typical Avant-Garde: History And Geography Of Minor Cinemas In Los Angeles

  • By David E. James. History of underground filmmaking in Los Angeles. Published by University of California Press, 2005.

Movie Journal: The Rise Of A New American Cinema, 1959-1971

  • By Jonas Mekas. Reprinting the hugely influential column Mekas wrote for the Village Voice newspaper. Published by Collier Books, 1972. First paperback edition. Read book review.

Naked Lens: Beat Cinema

  • By Jack Sargeant. History of Beat sensibility in underground and independent film. Published by Soft Skull Press, 2008. (A reprint from original edition published by Creation Books, 1997.) Read book review.

Nice Guys Don’t Work In Hollywood: The Adventures Of An Aesthete In The Movie Business

  • By Curtis Harrington. Memoir of Harrington’s filmmaking career, from the underground to feature films to TV movies produced by Aaron Spelling. Published by Drag City, 2013.

Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life And Art Of Edward D. Wood, Jr.

  • By Rudolph Grey. Biography of filmmaker Ed Wood. Published by Feral House, 1994.

Nobody’s Perfect: Writings From The New Yorker

  • By Anthony Lane. A collection of movie reviews originally in The New Yorker magazine. No underground film reviews. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.

Popism: The Warhol Sixties

  • By Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett. Auto/biography of Warhol’s life in the 1960s, includes many stories about the making of his films. Published by Harvest / HBJ, 1990.

The Scene: Reports On Post-Modern Art

  • By Calvin Tomkins. Reprints of artist profiles originally published in The New Yorker, including ones on Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol, and Nam June Paik. Published by The Viking Press, 1976.

sex, lies, and videotape

  • By Steven Soderbergh. Making of the film sex, lies, and videotape by Soderbergh, plus the full screenplay. Published by Harper & Row, 1990.

Scrapbook Of The Sixties: Writings 1954-2010

  • By Jonas Mekas. Collection of writings by Mekas on art, film, theater, and other topics. Published by Spector Books, 2015.

Shock Value

  • By John Waters. Autobiography by Waters, including many stories about the making of his films and his inspirations. Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1981.


  • By Richard Linklater. Covers the making of the independent film Slacker by Linklater. Published by St. Martin’s Press, 1992.

Stargazer: Andy Warhol’s World and His Films

  • By Stephen Koch. Tales of the making of Andy Warhol‘s films. Published by Praeger Publishers, 1974. (Second printing.)

Subversion: The Definitive History of Underground Cinema

  • By Duncan Reekie. History of avant-garde and experimental filmmaking, including pre-cinema processes. Published by Wallflower Press, 2007.

These Here Separated To See How They Standing Alone Or The Soundtracks Of Six Films

  • By Stephanie Barber. Includes DVD of films by Barber. Published by Publishing Genius, 2010.

To Free The Cinema: Jonas Mekas & The New York Underground

  • Edited by David E. James. Essays on the subject of Jonas Mekas. Published by Princeton University Press, 1992.

Totem Of The Depraved

Trash Trio

Underground Film: A Critical History

  • By Parker Tyler. A primarily negative overview of the 1960s avant-garde cinema. Published by Da Capo Press, 1995. (A republication of the 1969 original edition.)

Uplift The Race

  • By Spike Lee, with Lisa Jones. Oral history of the making of Lee’s School Daze, including the film’s screenplay. Published by Simon & Schuster Inc., 1988.

VideoHound’s Complete Guide To Cult Flicks And Trash Pics

  • Directed by Carol Schwartz. Brief listings of hundreds of cult movies. Published by Visible Ink Press, 1996. (Note: No editor credit is given, but the Archive is assuming the “Director” credit is actually the book’s Editor.)

VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films Of The Psychedelic Era

  • By Irv Slifkin. Foreward by Roger Corman. Articles on “far-out” movies. Published by Visible Ink, 2004.

Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde, 1943-2000 (Third Edition)

  • By P. Adams Sitney. Analysis of American avant-garde filmmakers. Published by Oxford University Press, 2002. Originally published in 1974 and 1979.

Walt Disney: The Triumph Of The American Imagination

  • By Neal Gabler. Exhaustive biography of animator Walt Disney. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.