A lot of changes have been taking place lately on the local independent underground film scene. Ralph Pickett, of the Indian Pickers, has left the Detroit Repertory Theatre. Bill Unger is now in charge of the film showing. It’s interesting to note the changes in the programming.
Booking styles, it seems can be as diverse as filmmaking styles. Whereas Ralph booked films of very broad appeal, Unger, it seems, is picking a lot of films that are not quite as well done, but still worth seeing. Its like the difference between John Mayall and One String Sam. You may not find as many films that you like at the Rep., but you see some shit that you wouldn’t believe.
For example, a couple of weeks ago The Rep. had this film by Bob Giorgio. I can’t remember it’s name, afraid, that was made up of this weird, weird, Witch-woman talking. Something like Andy Warhol, but the subject was blown up from 8 mm, so the image was not of very good quality, and the soundtrack was damn near completely garbled. But what managed to come through was really extraordinary. A few people walked out in disgust. Personally, I’m really glad that they’re making films like this available to the public. Unger’s also been booking in a lot of nice Black Power picks.
The Repertory Theatre discontinued their Monday evening showings, because they’re starting their straight theatre season. Looks like they’re going to be doing a lot of nice things. You should call them for information on their films and plays, and like that (868-1347).
The Fifth Forum, in Ann Arbor, is going to resume their Underground Film programs, about the time this paper comes out. The films will be shown on Friday and Saturday nights around midnight, Marvin Surowitz and Ralph Pickett are running the show up there and they’re putting together some really great programs.
Ralph Pickett and I had such a good time putting on the films at the Unitarian Church thing a while back, that we’re trying to put together one night shots for underground films everywhere possible. Films to the people, and all that. So if your group would be interested in booking an independent film program, try and find us. (You might be able to reach us via the Fifth Estate).
Also, Ralph, Marvin, and I are looking for a theatre to put on films full time. If you know of any empty ones, let us know. Barry Kramer may be putting on films and live music in back of Alvin’s Finer Delicatessen. The Studio 8 may go mixed media. At least there’s some talk going around about it. Barry Brilliant is thinking about starting a theatre.
Dave Dixon, of WABX, directed N. Paul Stookey’s film The Culvert. Bob Skotak (who’s on WABX one night a week) has some films that are going to be shown at the Rep very shortly. Charlie Auringer and Bob Stark and Don Jobes all have films in the cutting stage. Fred Zapinski and Larry Huston are just starting new films. Carl Lundgren (who’s doing some of the recent Grande posters) is cutting some 8 mm. footage.
Trans Love is going to be starting work on the MC5’s promotional film for Kick Out The Jams for Elektra in the next couple of weeks. Bob Stark is going to be starring in Barry Brilliant’s film, which should start shooting in the next couple of weeks. And that’s not all that’s been happening lately in the indie-underground. Maybe I’ll have to write another column, even if nobody asks me.