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TitleUnderground U.S.A.: Filmmaking Beyond the Hollywood Canon
PublisherWallflower Press
ISBN 139781903364499
CategoryArts - Film
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size25.2 MB
Total Pages256
Table of Contents
                            CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
FOREWORD - I.A.: I-WON'T-SUCK-THE-MAINSTREAM ART Lloyd Kaufman
INTRODUCTION - EXPLORATIONS UNDERGROUND: AMERICAN FILM  (AD)VENTURES BENEATH THE HOLLYWOOD RADAR  
Xavier Mendik & Steven Jay Schneider
'NO WORSE THAN YOU WERE BEFORE': THEORY, ECONOMY AND POWER IN ABEL FERRARA'S 'THE ADDICTION' Joan Hawkins
RADLEY METZGER'S 'ELEGANT AROUSAL': TASTE, AESTHETIC
DISTINCTION AND SEXPLOITATION
Elena Garfinkel
CURTIS HARRINGTON AND THE UNDERGROUND ROOTS OF
THE MODERN HORROR FILM
Stephen R. Bissette
'SPECIAL EFFECTS' IN THE CUTTING ROOM
Tony Williams
REAL!IST) HORROR: FROM EXECUTION VIDEOS TO SNUFF FILMS 
Joel Black
A REPORT ON BRUCE CONNER'S 'REPORT'
Martin F. Norden
VOYEURISM, SADISM AND TRANSGRESSION: SCREEN NOTES
AND OBSERVATIONS ON WARHOL'S 'BLOW JOB' AND '1, A MAN'
Jack Sargeant
'YOU BLED MY MOTHER, YOU BLED MY FATHER, BUT YOU WON'T
BLEED ME': THE UNDERGROUND TRIO OF MELVIN VAN PEEBLES
Garrett Chaffin-Quiray
DORIS WISHMAN MEETS THE AVANT-GARDE
Michael J. Bowen
FULL THROTILE ON THE HIGHWAY TO HELL: MAVERICKS,
MACHISMO AND MAYHEM IN THE AMERICAN BIKER MOVIE
Bill Osgerby
THE IDEAL CINEMA OF HARRY SMITH
Jonathan L. Crane
WHAT IS THE NEO-UNDERGROUND AND WHAT ISN'T:
A FIRST CONSIDERATION OF HARMONY KORINE
Benjamin Halligan
UNDERGROUND AMERICA 1999
Annalee Newitz
PHANTOM MENACE: KILLER FANS, CONSUMER ACTIVISM
AND DIGITAL FILMMAKERS
Sara Gwenllian Jones
FILM CO-OPS: OLD SOLDIERS FROM THE SIXTIES STILL
STANDING IN BATILE AGAINST HOLLYWOOD COMMERCIALISM
Jack Stevenson
'GOUTS OF BLOOD': THE COLOURFUL UNDERGROUND
UNIVERSE OF HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS
Interview by Xavier Mendik
THEORY OF XENOMORPHOSIS
NickZedd
VISIONS OF NEW YORK: FILMS FROM THE 1960s UNDERGROUND
David Schwartz
A TASTELESS ART: WATERS, KAUFMAN AND THE PURSUIT OF
'PURE' GROSS-OUT
Xavier Mendik & Steven Jay Scheider
NOTES
INDEX
                        
Document Text Contents
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of seeing becomes a shockingly aberrant phenomenon. Both avant-garde and exploitation cinemas,

therefore, comment equally upon the cultural organisation of visualiry, on the spectator's encoded

experience of seeing.

It is not the general case, however, that the operation and effects of the avant-garde and
exploitation cinemas are granted equal significance by most film scholars. The avant-garde cinema

maintains a place within critical discourse far more privileged than that of the exploitation sub-genres.

Exploitation films are, after all, widely held to be inarticulate and aesthetically regressive; authorless

and derivative, they pander to the worst impulses in human nature - violence and unregulated
sexuality. Avant-garde films, on the other hand, experiment consciously with the boundaries of
experience, both personal and aesthetic; although often controversial, they suive for formal originality

and deal with questions of widely recognised intellectual worth.

That said, most scholars would also agree that during the 1 960s a certain number of attributions

did begin to manifest themselves linking the cinematic 'underground' - the term used during the

period to describe the filmic avant-garde - with the dominant strain of 1 9 60s low-budget exploitation

- the so-called 'sex-exploitation' genres. These links, in fact, were a subject of interest to numerous

contemporary commentators:

A particularly curious aspect [of the recent, non-conventional cinema] has been the almost
inevitable confusion between the Underground and the commercial, sex-oriented cinema.

This confusion is compounded by the fact that most of the Underground newspapers in

America carry advertisements for sexploitation sagas which are placed side by side with

advertising displays for the works of Warhol . . . Kenneth Anger, etc. 1

This 'almost inevitable confusion' , however, apparently rested upon a basis more complex than media
misalliance alone. There were strucrural, even thematic links between the two cinemas. As the same

writer observes:

[Both sexploitation and avant-garde films] share the same insistence on portraying sexual

activity and deviations; the same desire to abolish all censor control; they have in common

low budgets, the use of amateur or semi-professional actors and a disdain or disregard for
the gloss and polish of Hollywood film techniques . . . . Leaving aside the large proportion

of Underground films which aren't concerned with sex at all, it's fair to say that the
most commercially successful [underground] artists . . . have been those who featured sex

prominently in their works. 2

This essay will seek to examine in greater detail the relationship between certain elements of the
intellectually accredited underground movement of the 1 960s and the work of one 'sexploitation'

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