The second annual Chicago Underground Film Festival runs Friday through Sunday, July 21 through 23, at the Congress Hotel, 520 S. Michigan, and Saturday, July 22, at the International Cinema Museum, 319 W. Erie. Tickets for all programs are $5, with the exception of the Kenneth Anger and Ivan Stang programs, which are $8; a $40 pass will admit you to all festival screenings and events, and a $20 pass will admit you to five regular programs. For further information, call 866-8660.



A narrative film feature by Shane Kuhn promising “white trash robot people hell-bent on destruction.” To be shown with The Room, an experimental short by Relah Eckstein. (3:00)

Short Videos 1

Videos by Danny DeLoach, Marq Morrison, Bartoz Rawilak, and Saul Vest. (3:00)

When Tomorrow Hits

A “screwball” heist feature by Jordan Ellis involving two petty thieves and an aspiring actress. To be shown on video along with videos by Christopher Hepburn and Aaron Vanek. (4:30)

Short Films 1

Jeff Vilencia’s Images (see Critic’s Choice) heads a program of works by Dan and Paul Dinello, Craig Smith, Guy Benoit, and Aaron Sutherland. (5:00)

Magick Lantern Cycle

Kenneth Anger’s visionary magnum opus of avant-garde films made from 1947 to the late 60s. Essential viewing. Anger will attend the screening. (6:30)


A video documentary feature by Larry Wessel on bullfights in Tijuana during the 1991-’93 bullfighting seasons. To be shown with an experimental short video by Christopher Hepburn. (6:30)

Chicken Village

A narrative film feature by Cyrus Amini described as a “slice-of-life comedy.” To be shown with Critizen, a documentary short film by Michael LaHaie. (8:30)

Out of Bounds

A 40-minute narrative video by Christopher Haydon. To be shown with experimental short videos by Annabel Lee and Jacob Pander. (8:45)


Short Films 2

Short films by Anjali Sundaram, Jarek Kupsc, Michael Cavanaugh, and Michael Burlingame. (Congress Hotel, noon)

Short Videos 2

Short videos by Bridgette Murphy, Marq Morrison, and Pat Bishow. (Congress Hotel, noon)

Which Way Is East: Notebooks From Vietnam

An interesting experimental short by two American sisters, Lynne and Dana Sachs, traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and recording their conversations with various local people en route. On the same program, a half-hour documentary portrait by Dana Plays of her 90-year-old grandmother, Love Stories My Grandmother Tells, Part One. (International Cinema Museum, noon)

Dika: Murder City

An hour-long experimental documentary by Michael D. Moore about a 71-year-old punk rocker, female Elvis impersonator, and former student of Arnold Schoenberg who teaches music composition to graduate students in Virginia. (International Cinema Museum, 1:30)


A feature by Suki Hawley about five teenagers who steal a van with music equipment and proceed to Louisville, Chattanooga, and Nashville; among the cast members are members of indie rock groups Rodan, Crain, and Ruby Falls. On the same program, shorts by Gary Prusaitis and Gretchen Hildebran. (Congress Hotel, 2:00)

Hooked on Comix

A video documentary by David P. Moore about alternative comic books, including interviews with 19 artists. To be shown with shorts by Christopher Hepburn and Helen Stickler. (Congress Hotel, 2:30)

So Wrong They’re Right

A documentary feature by Russ Forster about his adventures with fellow eight-track audiotape enthusiast Dan Sutherland on a 10,000-mile cross-country road trip looking for people with eight-track tapes and players. To be shown with a short by members of the Super 8 Union, Local 60. (Congress Hotel, 4:00)

The Pre-“Bob” Films of Rev. Ivan Stang

Films and videos (both shown on video) made between 1978 and 1991 by Stang before he served as sribe and spokesperson for the Church of the Subgenius. (Congress Hotel, 4:00)

Pop Love

A narrative feature by Kyle Henry, adapting his own stage play Balance and Symmetry, about the doomed relationship between a classical flute player and an unsuccessful pop composer. (International Cinema Museum, 4:00)

Four Corners of Nowhere

A narrative feature in 35-millimeter, directed by Steve Chbosky, described as “an insider’s view of what it’s like to be young and lost in America.” (International Cinema Museum, 5:30)


A 45-minute narrative video by Raoul Vehill. To be shown with shorter videos by David E. Mumford and Michael D. Moore. (Congress Hotel, 5:30)

Short Films 3

Animated, experimental, documentary, and narrative works by Skizz Cyzyk, Jeff Vilencia, Relah Eckstein, John Ando, Robert Lurie, and Robert C. Banks Jr. (Congress Hotel, 6:00)


A narrative video feature by Mike Johnson about a hand puppet that escapes from its owner to roam about the city. To be shown with short videos by Christopher Hepburn and Mary DiLullo. (Congress Hotel, 7:30)

Sonic Outlaws

A documentary feature by Craig Baldwin that, like his other paranoid (or pseudoparanoid) compilations, plays with found footage to work up delirious scenarios. The subject here is the lawsuit waged against Negativeland by U2 for copyright infringement, a subject that has already yielded reams of compulsive documentation; if you’re looking for more–or, at the very least, more of the same–here’s the place to find it. To be shown with three experimental shorts by Bump Stadelman. (Congress Hotel, 8:00)

Red Spirit Lake

A narrative feature on video directed by Charles Pinion about female ghosts, evil men, and an ancestral estate. To be shown with a short video by Dante Tomaselli and Joe Christ’s frequently shown 40-minute Sex Blood and Mutilation. (Congress Hotel, 9:30)

Hub Cap World

A 53-minute narrative feature about a blue-collar love triangle in New Jersey, directed by L.K. Noller. To be shown with an experimental short film by Rick Danielson. (Congress Hotel, 10:00)


The Dear One

A narrative feature directed by Timothy Ryerson about a repressed husband working at his family’s mortuary. To be shown with experimental and documentary short films by Rodney Asher, Michael Garon, and Saori Miyazaki. (Noon)

Blond Fury

A 45-minute video by Lee Bennett Sobel about two New Jersey housewives joining forces to save their kidnapped husbands and then falling in love with each other. To be shown with short videos by Christopher Hepburn, Lizzie Donahoe, John Binninger, and Jaquline Turnure. (Noon)

Short Videos 4

Short videos by Diane Titmarshe Alexander, Melinda Roenisch, Joe Wall, Frank McCafferty, Tyler Hubby, Laurie Little, and Michael Burlingame. (1:30)

Baptism by Fire

A 52-minute narrative film by Timothy J. Elliot about a young man with a religious background going off on a violent rampage after believing that his girlfriend has cheated on him. To be shown with a short film by Franz Berner. (2:00)

David “the Rock” Nelson’s Cavalcade of Trailers

A 40-minute video. (3:00)

Short Films 4

Films by Christian L. Saghaard, Paolo Gregori, Paulo Sacramento, Erin Sax, and Gi Young Rhee. (3:30)

Short Videos 5

Videos by Les LeVeque, Kevin S. Lee, Richard Baylor, Perry Finch, and Sean Ivory. (4:00)

Films by Guy Maddin

Two short films by the talented and haunted wizard from Winnipeg, who will be present at the screening. The earliest is The Dead Father (1986)–not to be confused with Donald Barthelme’s 60s antinovel of the same title, though existentially speaking, Maddin’s semisilent, black-and-white reverie on a dead father who won’t quite stay dead seems to be coming from a similar postmodernist funk, and carries a comparably poker-faced wit laced with sorrow and dismay. Maddin (Tales From the Gimli Hospital, Archangel, Careful) is one of the most intelligent, inspired, and original underground filmmakers around, and this opportunity to see him and his underexposed work should not be missed. (5:00)

Hawgwild in Sturgis

A 50-minute video documentary by Chris Iovenko about an annual motorcycle festival held in Sturgis, South Dakota. (5:30)