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Underground Film Sites: Who’s In The Loop?

Recently, I posted up my theory about “film loops”, but I’m not sure if that’s the best term to use anymore. To review: A film loop is a collection of film websites — or other media outlets — generally grouped together by genre or theme that all refer to the same types of films and, similarly, refer to each other on news and analysis.

A more accurate term could be “film blogging loops,” but, then again, not all websites that write about film are blogs. Whatever the term should or could be, I was and continue to be stressed about the lack of an underground film “loop.” Mainstream films, indie films, horror films, et. al., all have their collection of media outlets, but underground films have painfully few outlets writing about them. Not none, thankfully, but few.

As I also recently declared, I want to make 2010 — and maybe beyond — a year to make a push to get more people writing about underground film. I don’t need to encourage filmmakers to make underground films because there are already so many tremendous filmmakers already out there making them. But they need a more vocal audience. And it’s my theory that not more people write about underground films because there isn’t a well defined media outlet loop the way other film genres have.

I don’t want to say there’s an underground film blogging loop that the Underground Film Journal belongs to because we don’t refer to each other too much. However, there are other websites out there covering the underground world, usually sporadically, but they’re there. Maybe you’ve seen them, maybe you read them regularly. But, for those who read the Underground Film Journal and have never seen these sites before, this list is for you, which is not in any particular order. Bookmark them! Subscribe to them!

  1. Experimental Cinema, run by Marcos Ortega. If you want to know, literally, what’s going on in the world of underground film, Marcos runs a staggeringly inclusive list of events, DVD releases, festivals, publications, etc.
  2. Invisible Cinema, run by Jennifer MacMillan. Jennifer is a filmmaker, curator and writer with the soul of a poet. She doesn’t write as much as she used to, but when she does, you’re glad she did.
  3. INCITE!, run by Brett Kashmere. INCITE! is both a website and a print journal featuring the best insight (get it?) and analysis into modern experimental media.
  4. Cinemad, run by Mike Plante. Cinemad started as a print zine in the ’90s and featured the most engaging interviews with a wide variety of underground filmmakers. Now the project is online and doing the exact same thing.
  5. Cineflyer, run by Clint Enns and others. This can be described as a blog about what’s going on in underground film in Winnipeg, but it also features general film analysis, tips for filmmakers, screening reviews and more.
  6. Flicker, run by Scott Stark. Featuring an exhaustive catalog of filmmakers, listings of weekly underground screenings, links to new videos: This site has a ton of great info.
  7. Snuff Box Films, run by Rupert Owen. Rupert runs lots of great info for filmmakers, such as calls for entry and other notes; plus special screening info, quick notes on underground films and more.
  8. Rhizome is both a non-profit organization and a website devoted to promoting the best in digital art. Their blog has at least one super awesome video to watch a day.
  9. Landscape Suicide, run by Matthew Flanagan. This is a different type of underground film blog. Instead of writing, it features curated images from films old and new based on different themes. Beautiful to look at.
  10. Gentle Ride Van, run by Andrea Grover. Andrea is the co-founder of Houston’s Aurora Picture Show microcinema and film library. Her personal blog covers all sorts of topics, including what’s going on in the avant-garde film and video world.

Now, I didn’t compile this list before I started this post, so it turns out I’m a bit surprised at how many sites I was able to include. Plus, there were a few more I thought of including, but they haven’t posted anything in months, so I’m going to consider them defunct.

However, if you, yes you reading this, know of any other underground film-ish websites you think should be on the list, please leave their links in the comments section below. I’m not trying to define what is and what isn’t an underground film website, these are just the sites that occur to me that are. I’m always willing to read new sites. Heck, that’s the whole point of me doing this.

Lastly, there are lots of other places to read about underground film that’s mixed in with a more general kind of content. I follow a ton of film websites, by fans, filmmakers, organizations and more. So, you can also read my list of shared items I find via my Google RSS Reader.


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