Below is a list of significant events and films in underground film history between the years 1970 and 1979. Reference key of sources appears at the bottom of the page.
Expanded Cinema, a book that collects the columns of the same name written by Gene Youngblood and published in the Los Angeles Free Press, is published.
In the Spring, Film Culture publishes a double-issue, 48-49.
Still Light (P.A.S.)
The Animals of Eden and After (P.A.S.)
Scenes From Under Childhood (1967-70) (P.A.S.)
The Golden Positions (DVD) (P.A.S.)
Production Stills (D.E.J.)
Zorns Lemma (P.A.S.)
States (1967/1970) (P.A.S.)
Serene Velocity (P.A.S.)
Porch Glider (D.C.)
Bleu Shut (P.A.S.)
Kodak Ghost Poems (D.C.)
Runs Good (1969-70) (D.C.)
Surfacing on the Thames (D.C.)
Multiple Maniacs (J.S.)
Malcolm Le Grice:
Spot the Microdot, Or How to Screw the CIA Part 1 (D.C.)
William and Birgit Hein:
Work in Progress Teil A (1969-70) (Six parts: Takes, Catania, untitled, untitled, The Jewellery Robbery, untitled) (D.C.)
Gregory Markopoulos publishes his collective writings, Chaos Phaos, but doesn’t include anything written before 1962.
In the Spring, Film Culture publishes issue 52.
Quick Billy (P.A.S.) (D.C. lists as “1968–“)
From the Notebook of… (P.A.S.)
Deus ex (P.A.S.)
The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes (DVD) (P.A.S.)
July ’71 in San Francisco, Living at Beach Street, Working at Canyon Cinema, Swimming in the Valley of the Moon (P.A.S.)
Film Portrait (P.A.S.)
Remedial Reading Comprehension (P.A.S.) (WATCH)
Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (P.A.S.)
The Central Region (P.A.S.)
Peter Kubelka gives a seminar of his films at New York University, which is “the first public and extensive expression of his theoretical position.”
The Painting (P.A.S.)
Work Done (P.A.S.)
The Riddle of Lumen (P.A.S.)
Dreamwood (DVD) (P.A.S. also lists as 1971)
Hapax Legomena (1971-72) (Includes (nostalgia), Poetic Justice, Special Effects, Remote Control, Traveling Matte, Ordinary Matter and 1 other) (P.A.S.)
What’s Wrong With This Picture? (P.A.S.)
Lives of Performers (P.A.S.)
Carriage Trade (1968-72) (P.A.S.)
Pink Flamingoes (J.S.)
Sincerity (reel one) (P.A.S.)
October 4: Peter Kubelka screens his films and participates in a discussion about his work at the San Francisco Cinematheque. A transcript of that discussion is eventually published in Canyon Cinema’s Canyon Cinemanews magazine.
Kodak begins producing syncsound Super-8 film.
8 1/2 x 11 (P.A.S.)
The Text of Light (P.A.S.)
Testament (DVD) (P.A.S.)
Cue Rolls (D.E.J.)
Shift (1971-74) (P.A.S.)
Saugus Series (P.A.S.)
Film About a Woman Who… (P.A.S.)
Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen (P.A.S.) (S.M. just calls it Rameau’s Nephew and says that Steve Anker helped work on the film.)
Female Trouble (Streaming) (J.S.)
In the autumn, Will Hindle is seriously injured in a car accident in Alabama. By July 1976 he is almost fully recovered.
May 25: The Whitney Museum screens Warren Sonbert’s Rude Awakening.
June 12: James Benning and Bette Gordon screen films at the Millennium Film Workshop.
11 x 14 (P.A.S.)
Projection Instructions (D.E.J.)
A Reason to Live (J.S.)
New Improved Institutional Quality: In the Environment of Liquids and Nasals a Parasitic Vowel Sometimes Develops (P.A.S.) (DVD)
Wide Angle Saxon (P.A.S.)
Thundercrack! (starring George Kuchar) (J.S.) (S.M. lists film as 1975 and without exclamation point.)
Kristina Talking Pictures (P.A.S.; S.M.)
Neptunian Space Angel (S.M.)
One Way Boogie Woogie (P.A.S.)
The Governor (P.A.S.)
Song of the Godbody (P.A.S.)
The Itch Scratch Cycle (J.S.)
Desperate Living (J.S.)
May 18: George Landow introduces his films at a retrospective of his work at the San Francisco Cinematheque.
July 23: James Broughton “re-marries” Joel Singer. (Quotes used in original announcement in Canyon Cinema’s Cinemanews magazine.)
Eric Mitchell opens fifty-seat New Cinema storefront microcinema on St. Marks Place in NYC.
Boris Deutsch passes away. (b. 1892)
Beth and Scott B:
Black Box (J.S.)
Letters to Dad (J.S.)
Grand Opera (P.A.S.)
Incontinence: A Diarrhetic Flow of Mismatches (J.S.)
Diary 1974-75 (P.A.S.)
Forever and Always (J.S.)
Notes for Jerome (P.A.S.)
O.P. Screen screens Nick Zedd‘s They Eat Scum. Amy Taubin, film critic for the Soho Weekly News, sees the film and writes in the paper: “The aesthetic operative here is transgression, both in terms of the narrative, and in formal filmmaking terms.”
Robert Florey passes away.
Beth and Scott B:
The Offenders (J.S.)
Ism Ism (J.S.)
European Diary ’79 (P.A.S.)
Alien Portrait (J.S.)
They Eat Scum (J.S.)
D.C: David Curtis. Experimental Cinema. New York: Dell Pub., 1978.
D.E.J.: David E. James. The Most Typical Avant-garde: History and Geography of Minor Cinemas in Los Angeles. Berkeley: University of California, 2005.
J.S.: Jack Sargeant. Deathtripping: the Extreme Underground. Brooklyn: Soft Skull, 2008. (Originally published: London: Creation, 1995.)
P.A.S.: P. Adams Sitney. Visionary Film: the American Avant-garde, 1943-2000. New York: Oxford UP, 2002.
S.M.: Scott MacDonald. Canyon Cinema: the Life and times of an Independent Film Distributor. Berkeley: University of California, 2008.