Detroit Filmmaker Mourns Death of Local Flicks
Film, the liveliest art, is, for all intents and purposes dead. At least in Detroit. Those wanting to attend services, needn’t bother, since there usually aren’t any for a stillborn that was just dumped in a garbage can for expediency.
Since the end of WWII there has been an increasing interest in film in this country. Foreign films developed an audience and in almost every city with a population over 200 underground movements sprung up, with independents making films from high art to low trash. In Detroit, however, nothing has happened. At different times different people have attempted to give life to some kind of movement, and each time all that ever developed was a few kicks that gave signs of life but ended in miscarriage.
Apr 28, 2023
In the last issue of the Fifth Estate [FE #14, September 15, 1966] I said that film was dead in Detroit. I wrote that shortly after arriving in San Francisco, and have since managed to see what film makers here are doing to promote films and film making in the Bay area.
The film makers in this area have banded together and are forming the Canyon Cinema Co-op, patterned after the Filmmakers Co-op in New York, the arrangement being that anyone who has a film that they would like to see distributed arranges to have it listed in the co-op’s catalogue, and every time the film is rented the film-maker receives 75% of the rental fee and the co-op gets 25% to help cover operating expenses.
May 8, 2023
A film column without a clever name
Everybody should make films.
Film-making is a beautiful thing and it’s something that anyone can do. Really.
Sure there’s a lot of strange professional things to get hung up on, but it’s like the cat hustling Wurlitzer organs on television: “you can be playing your favorite songs in minutes.” You’re not going to be ready to take over for Boot if he doesn’t make it to a gig with Billy C., and it’s the same thing with film.
Feb 17, 2017
Every so often I wake up in the middle of the night with the insane desire to write another film column. Usually, I manage to put it out of my head and go back to sleep. Sometimes I find that impossible, so here we go again.
First some background: Detroit is probably the only place in the world where independent film theaters have come into existence with no filmmaking scene to back them up. Usually there’s filmmakers first and theaters second. Now that underground films have been around regularly for about six months, a filmmaking scene seems to be materializing.
Nov 5, 2018
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.
Aug 7, 2019