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Underground Film Links: December 9, 2012

By Mike Everleth ⋅ December 9, 2012

Portrait of film historian Sheldon Renan
  1. This week’s Must Read: A rare interview with one of the unsung legends of underground film research, history and promotion, Sheldon Renan, the author of the essential An Introduction to the American Underground Film and the “father” of several arts films centers in the U.S. that are still going strong.
  2. Jonas Mekas is set to turn 90 in just a few weeks and he’s having one of his biggest years ever with the DVD release of most of his films (unfortunately in all-region PAL format) and major retrospectives/showings in England and France. So, first, the Guardian has an incredible and incredibly lengthy article on the man who all owe such a debt to.
  3. Next, BBC Radio has an audio interview with Mekas.
  4. Fandor has posted a fantastic list of films most in need of restoration. Of course, I agree with Shirley Clarke’s Portrait of Jason, but I like they also included the obscure films of Tony Buba. His Lightning Over Braddock is a film that’s stuck with me in bits and pieces ever since seeing it back in film school.
  5. Cineaste reviews two new books about Andy Warhol’s films — Douglas Crimp’s Our Kind of Movie and J.J. Murphy’s Black Hole of the Camera — and ends up preferring the more queer-oriented take on the films. Reviewer Michael Sicinski, I think, gets lots of things wrong about Murphy’s approach, such as not getting his personalized interpretation, which is fairly clear from the outset.
  6. ArtForum posts John Waters’ annual list of the year’s best movies, which are usually ones you wouldn’t expect.
  7. 366 Weird Movies considers Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend.
  8. Bob Moricz groans about the need for archiving one’s own material, but more importantly, frets about the loss of media ownership, which I think is a strong point. Plus, Happy Krampus!
  9. Waylon Bacon finally reveals what he’s been working on: A creepy music video. We can’t wait!
  10. Not underground: Here’s a funny because it’s sickeningly true list of ways the Hollywood media speaks. Why I think this is important to read is because how this kind of jibber-jabber creeps into “real world” speak.
  11. Also not underground: My friend Bob Greenberger has some chipper advice for the freelance writer in the Internet age. I agree with him, but the more pessimistic side has severe doubts about the lousy economics of the web for the “little guy.”

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