Underground Film Journal

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Underground Film Yearbook: 1974

By Mike Everleth ⋅ November 30, 2008

Book cover for Visionary Film, the 3rd edition

This is the fourth entry in my series of the underground film scene of the ’70s. You can follow the series here.

The biggest underground film event of 1974 was the 5th International Experimental Film Competition Knokke-Heist, Belgium; also known as EXPRMNTL 5. This was the final edition of one of the biggest, if not the biggest, showcases of experimental and underground films in the world. It was not an annual event and the previous edition had run seven years earlier in 1967. The 5th edition began on Christmas Day and ran until Jan. 2, 1975.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able yet to track down a full listing of filmmakers who screened during the competition, but some of them are: Lois Siegel, Raphael Bendahan, Bill Brand, Victor Faccinto, Coleen Fitzgibbon, William Raban, Anthony McCall, and Ernest Gusella.

The competition had diminished somewhat in prestige since it’s previous edition. According to avant-garde cinema critic and historian P. Adams Sitney, this was due to better screening opportunities for American underground filmmakers in their home country. Canyon Cinema and the Film-makers’ Cooperative were both in business and distributing films to universities and other alternative screening venues. Knokke-Heist was no longer the unique screening experience it once had been.

Speaking of P. Adams Sitney, ’74 was a huge year for him, too. His essential book on underground cinema, Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde, was published for the first time. Filled with invaluable research, history and analysis, the book would have two subsequent updatings, first in 1978 and again in 2000.

Two other major underground film books were published for the first time in ’74. First, was Film As a Subversive Art by Amos Vogel. While Vogel didn’t concentrate on the underground in his writing, he previously had founded and run Cinema 16 in NYC with his wife for sixteen years, which was one of the major experimental film exhibition spaces in the world. After closing up Cinema 16, Vogel co-founded the New York Film Festival.

Also first published was Stargazer: Andy Warhol’s World and His Films by Stephen Koch, which would be the first and one of the few books on Warhol that focused heavily on the artist’s filmmaking career.

In the midnight movie arena, John Waters followed up his smash hit Pink Flamingos with Female Trouble, which personally is my favorite Waters film. I’m not 100% positive since I haven’t seen Waters’ earliest shorts, but I think this film was the first time Divine ever appeared on film as a man. Also, future midnight movie phenomenon David Lynch directed the short film The Amputee in 1974, which he made after funding for Eraserhead had dried up. Plus, Paul Morrissey directed the second of his trashy European horror flicks: Andy Warhol’s Dracula.

Below is the list of films that I compiled with an official release date of 1974, organized alphabetically by director’s last name. This isn’t meant to be a complete list, but just what I could find so far mostly on the Canyon Cinema and Film-makers’ Cooperative’s online catalogs. However, I’ve also started to use the Video Data Bank as a resource, too, plus other random info I’ve found on the web. If anyone has a film to add, along with proof of year of completion, please leave a comment below.

Le Ann Bartok: Skyworks, The Red Mile

James Benning: 8-1/2 X 11

Jerry Bloedow: Songs of Lewis Wadhams

Power Boothe: Match

Stan Brakhage: Aquarien
“He Was Born, He Suffered, He Died”
Hymn to Her
Star Garden
The Stars Are Beautiful
The Text of Light

Bill Brand: Rate of Change: Acts of Light Part 1
Angular Momentum: Acts of Light Part 2
Circles of Confusion: Acts Of Light Part 3
An Angry Dog
It Dawn Down
The Central Finger
Before the Fact

James Broughton: Testament

James Cagle: Excavation
Metonic Cycles

Roberta Cantow: Rites of Passage

Elliot Caplan: To Station

Doris Chase: Moon Gates III
Rocking Orange III
Sculpture for Children
Tall Arches III

Tom Chomont: abda/Rebirth

Tony Conrad: Film Feedback

Sharon Couzin: Roseblood

Eduardo Darino: Process

Wheeler Winston Dixon: Waste Motion
An Evening With Chris Jangaard
Dana Can Deal

Mike Dunford: Logical Propositions

Stephen Dwoskin: Behindert (Hindered)

Jeroen Eisinga: Grey Zone

Claudine Eizykman: VW Vitesses Woman

Victor Faccinto: Shameless

Ken Feingold: Subject

Guy Fihman: Ultra Rouge Infra Violet

Holly Fisher: Apple Summer

Coleen Fitzgibbon: Fm/Trcs

Bob Fleischner: David

Simone Forti: Three Grizzlies

Terry Fox: The Children’s Tapes

Hollis Frampton: Autumnal Equinox
Drafts & Fragments Straits of Magellan
Ingenivm Nobis Ipsa Pvella Fecit (Was Vernal Equinox) 2 Reels
Noctiluca (Magellan’s Toys: #1)
Summer Solstice (Solariumagelani)
Winter Solstice (Solariumagelani)

Hermine Freed: Art Herstory
Show and Tell

Roberta Friedman: The Making of the Americans

Merrick Gagliano: See Tom Run

Dave Gearey: Airwaves
Once Again

Peter Gidal: Film Print

Frank Gillette: Muse

Bette Gordon: I-94 (made with James Benning)

Victor Grauer: Book of the Year Three Thousand

Nancy Graves: Reflections on the Moon

Amy Greenfield: Dialogue for Cameraman and Dancer

Vincent Grenier: Shut Up Barbie

Ernest Gusella: Video-Taping

Julie Gustafson: The Politics of Intimacy

Walter Gutman: Benedict Arnold

Howard Guttenplan: European Diary ’74
N. Y. C. Diary ’74

Amy Halpern: Filament (The Hands)

Barbara Hammer: Dyketactics
Women’s Rites

Abbie Herrick: Ghosts

J. Hoberman: Cargo of Lure

Nancy Holt: Underscan
Points of View: Clocktower

Takahiko Iimura: Parallel

Joan Jonas: I Want to Live in the Country (And Other Romances)

Larry Jordan: Once Upon a Time

Jon Jost: Speaking Directly

Paul Justman: Hampton

Helene Kaplan: Rose and Seymour at Home in Queens

Marjorie Keller: Objection

Stan King: Cheryl’s Film
Pace Falling Film
The Three By Film

John Knecht: Flashy Dancer

Lee Krugman: Dear Chuck
Magoo Loop

Mike Kuchar: Dwarf Star
Faraway Places

Owen Land: A Film of Their 1973 Spring Tour Commissioned by Christian World Liberation Front of Berkeley, California

Richard Landry: Divided Alto

Dave Lee: Archimedes Trilogy
Lumina’s Gaze

Malcolm LeGrice: After Lumiere–L’Arroseur Arrose

Saul Levine: Note to Colleen

Robert Luttrell: Implosion

Curt McDowell: Boggy Depot
Naughty Words
True Blue and Dreamy

Susan Mogul: Take Off

J.J. Murphy: Print Generation

Pat O’Neill: Saugus Series

Tom Palazzolo: Enjoy Yourself – It’s Later Than You Think

Dan Perz: Permutation
Pull Focus

Yvonne Rainer: A Film About A Woman Who…

Adolph Rosenblatt: Underpass

M. Jon Rubin: Lozenge Licking

Sam Samatowicz: Actuate II

Richard Schaefer: Frankenstein

Richard Serra: Boomerang

Rosalind Schneider: Andrea Acting Out

Paul Sharits: Analytical Studies III Color Frame Passages
Color Sound Frames (Winding)

Lois Siegel: Painting With Light

Michael Siporin: Ritz Newsiola #1
The Ritz Newsiola #2
The Ritz Newsiola #3

Barbara Smith: Becoming Bald; Full Jar, Empty Jar; The Perpetual Napkin

Michael Snow: Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen

Tyler Turkle: Smokey Wears Pantyhose
Walk That Dog

Woody Vasulka: C-Trend

Bill Viola: The Space Between the Teeth

Jon Voorhees: Destiny… The Universal Fantasy

Phil Weisman: Schubert’s Lantern

Lawrence Weiner: Done To
Affected and/or Effected

Doris Wishman: Deadly Weapons

Brian Wood: Clearview

Peter Von Ziegesar: Oh No

Harvey Marc Zucker: Sitting Bull Lives!

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