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Underground Film Links: August 8, 2010

By Mike Everleth ⋅ August 8, 2010

  1. This week’s Must Read is an excellent profile of one of the Underground Film Journal’s favorite fimmakers Usama Alshaibi, written by Ed M. Koziarski for the Chicago Reader. The article really captures Alshaibi’s growth as a film artist and his unique background that eventually led him to make the still-in-production documentary American Arab. Plus, a radio interview with Alshaibi for WJJG.
  2. Second Must Read is Electric Sheep’s long, engaging interview with Peter Whitehead, who returns to film with Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts. Plus, the Sheep analyzes the new non-political U.S. war film genre.
  3. At long last, the great experimental media journal INCITE! returns with its always insightful “back & forth” interview series. This time Penny Lane has tea and a very long and insightful chat with political animator Jacqueline Goss.
  4. Well, this is still relevant today and in the U.S.: Landscape Suicide has a fascinating recollection by German playwright and screenwriter Bertolt Brecht about how government censors objected to his 1932 film Kuhle Wampe, directed by Slatan Dudow, in the way it showed the unemployed committing suicide. The piece comes accompanied, of course, with several lovely stills.
  5. Glenn Kenny takes a peek at the European DVD release of Curt McDowell’s Thundercrack!, written by and starring George Kuchar. Ol’ Kenny boy says skip this edition and wait for the 2011 U.S. release by Synapse, but you should read his article now anyway.
  6. Jonas Mekas has been posting a slew of videos lately to his Diary website that are, unfortunately, not embeddable on other sites. But, go watch them, including the godfather of the underground getting made up for PBS’ American Masters.
  7. Movie Mazzupial profiles Joseph Sims’ Bad Behavior, which is going to be the Closing Night film of this year’s Melbourne Underground Film Festival.
  8. This year, the Toronto International Film Festival will be celebrating the 10th edition of its avant-garde Wavelengths spotlight and Making Light of It has the details. They’ll be screening work by Tomonari Nishikawa’s Tokyo-Ebisu, Dominic Angerame, Vincent Grenier, Philipp Fleischmann, Jem Cohen, Nathaniel Dorsky and more.
  9. Chained to the Cinémathèque has a sadly desperate 11-frame sequence from F.W. Murnau’s classic silent film Sunrise (1927).
  10. Eric Monder has some very nice things to say about the Anthology Film Archives. Well, who doesn’t?
  11. Week 2 of shooting The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga included a birthday party, giant mosquitoes, being chased by dogs and washing clothes in a bidet. Fun!
  12. Freedom is filming, so says Bob Moricz. Plus, he speaks the truth.
  13. Be careful who volunteers to work with you, so says Nathan Wrann, who unfortunately got caught up with a total homophobe for a bit.
  14. Donna k. gives Internet ranting a try. First topic: The evil’s of eminent domain.
  15. The Phantom of Pulp has three foreign films to recommend: The duo of Mesrine: Public enemy No. 1 and Mesrine: Killer Instinct; plus, The Girl Who Played With Fire.
  16. The Death Rattle reviews the classic El Topo and tries to explain it to the uninitiated, which is always a real task.
  17. DINCA has a whopping 14 cool posters from the sci-fi classic Solaris. Plus, for Inspired Mag, DINCA interviews Blake Whitman, founder of Vimeo.
  18. Way not underground, but you could learn something: For animation junkies, Patrick Smith posts up several pencil tests by Glenn Keane for several Disney (my old employer) films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. It’s actually really amazing to see this stuff in the rough.
  19. Also way not underground, but The Beat has one of the best Comic-Con wrap-ups I’ve read, numbered by lessons learned. And beware of the douchebags.