Found-footage films (not horror)

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Not talking about the horror subgenre that uses pseudo-found footage à la Blair Witch. What I mean is the earlier type of underground films that are assembled from old industrial training films, educational films, TV commercials, newsreels, snippets of old genre movies, and other cultural bric-a-brac. Usually they come on 16mm and often the film surface is hand-scratched or tinted or otherwise manipulated.

I have a memory of crashing at the house of a couple I'd just met that night back in 1990, and at some point they broke out a 16mm projector and said, "we have some films from San Francisco." When they ran the films I was blown away - they were intense and poetic, unlike anything I'd seen. I think they were all found-footage films. I've never forgotten that night and have since tried to identify what films I saw, from memory. Have come up with the following:

Take the 5:10 to Dreamland (1976) by Bruce Conner
Wild Gunman (1978) by Craig Baldwin
Winterwheat (1989) by Mark Street

Each of which was really cool. I'd have to say that seeing this stuff projected on 16mm with the sound coming from the speaker on the projector probably enhanced the experience significantly. Made it more eerie and haunting. Not sure how this stuff would translate to DVD viewing or streaming. Investigation suggests that the major scene, as it were, for this kind of found-footage film was in San Francisco - perhaps because Bruce Conner lived there.

Anybody familiar with this stuff at all?

Josefa, Monday, 9 September 2019 20:59 (one week ago) link

Yes, very familiar.

sarahell, Monday, 9 September 2019 21:00 (one week ago) link

I'd like recommendations then, or just tips about where to find this stuff. I suppose here in NYC some of these films will eventually be screened at Anthology Film Archives, but I don't wanna wait.

Josefa, Monday, 9 September 2019 21:05 (one week ago) link

Arthur Lipsett was a genius

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 10 September 2019 02:28 (one week ago) link


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